Kennedy Space Center up for rent

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January 3, 2013, 11:01 am
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(NECN/WESH: Dan Billow) - NASA is abandoning the launch pad that spring-boarded the first moon landing, along with many shuttle flights.

At the Kennedy Space Center, after 8,000 or so post-shuttle layoffs, there are acres of old office chairs, desks and equipment no longer in use. Buildings need tenants.  

Even the world famous Vehicle Assembly Building - one of the world's largest buildings - could be available to the right company with the right plan for its use.  

"We have however been in negotiations with some companies. There are discussions with at least two companies who had been interested in that facility," Joyce Riquelme said.  

NASCAR is renting the space shuttle runway for race car tests. Boeing is paying for space in a former shuttle hangar, building a commercial space ship.

From NASA's perspective, the idea is to give startup space companies a boost; an economic shot in the arm for the Space Coast. But in too many cases, NASA has not been able to find takers for its highly specialized assets.  

"There's a lot of uncertainty in the commercial space industry, in the NASA space industry. So things have not evolved as quickly as we would have liked," Riquelme said.  

NASA says facilities that aren't leased by the end of this year could be demolished - including the launch pad that launched space shuttles and astronauts to the moon.

Tags: NASCAR, NASA, Kennedy Space Center, space , shuttle, space ship, space exploration, dan billow, Joyce Riquelme, shuttle layoffs, shuttle hangar
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