NASA's shuttle launchpad is up for grabs, sorta

Credit: NASA

NASA, as you may have heard, has had to do some budgetary belt-tightening as of late. The most recent item up for grabs is a historic space shuttle launchpad in Cape Canaveral. Specifically, the launchpad under the gavel is Launch Complex 39A, home of not only NASA's first space shuttle launch, but its last as well.

The contenders in the bidding war over the complex are no less prominent. Both Elon Musk (of SpaceX and Tesla fame) and Jeff Bezos (of Amazon and Blue Origin) would love to slap their corporate logos across Complex 39A. With contenders like these in the bidding, the final price NASA's launchpad ultimately commands will likely be quite the pretty penny.

For the time being, that price is still under negotiation. What we do know is that the future use of Complex 39A depends largely upon who wins the bidding war. While both SpaceX and Blue Origin will launch their own missions, both manned and otherwise, from the historic launchpad, only Blue Origin has thus far stated that they would allow others to share their bounty. For a price, of course.

NASA has stated that it would like to unload the complex by October. That means that neither Musk nor Bezos has long to make their case. It may also mean that future date upon which private space flight takes over one of NASA's greatest treasures isn't that far off at all.

NBC News, via Engadget

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