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NASA trying to rent or sell space shuttle facilities before they fall apart

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Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center

In the wake of the space shuttle program's retirement, NASA is left with sprawling facilities at its Kennedy Space Center campus in Cape Canaveral that it no longer needs — facilities that cost millions of dollars to maintain. The Orlando Sentinel reports that money isn't allocated to keep much of that maintenance going beyond this year, so the administration has begun the process of reaching out to private industry to see who might be interested in it. The bidding and proposal process is being held largely in private to keep trade secrets away from competitors — such are the perils of commercialized spaceflight — but the hope is to start transferring or leasing property in the next six months before engineering landmarks like launchpads and the enormous Orbiter Processing Facilities fall into disrepair.

It's unlikely that everything on the auction block will find a home in private industry, but some is already being put to good use: Boeing, for instance, hopes to build manned capsules for International Space Station transport onsite.