NASA Selling Off Launchpads, Runways At Kennedy Center

From The Orlando Sentinel: That has prompted NASA to advertise a long list of KSC facilities and equipment as available for use, lease or, in some cases, outright purchase by the right business. Among them: Launch Pad 39A, where shuttles were launched; space in the Vehicle Assembly Building, the iconic 526-foot-tall structure first used to assemble Saturn V-Apollo rockets; the Orbiter Processing Facilities, essentially huge garages where the shuttles were maintained; Hangar N and its high-tech test equipment; the launch-control center; and various other buildings and chunks of undeveloped property. A lot of the stuff needs to be transferred by the end of 2013, when federal maintenance money will run out. When it does, machinery will start to rust, and buildings will deteriorate in the harsh coastal-marsh environment of Cape Canaveral.

"We have a lot of things in discussion, realizing that these major facilities have been funded by the space-shuttle program," said Joyce Riquelme, NASA's director of KSC planning and development. "And the facilities out here can't be in an abandoned state for long before they become unusable. So we're in a big push over the next few months to either have agreements for these facilities or not." The process is mostly secret, because NASA has agreed to let bidders declare their proposals proprietary, keeping them out of the view of competitors and the public. NASA has at various times published official notices seeking proposals and spelled out that the proposals should be space-related, though the agency will consider alternative uses under certain circumstances. But information about who wants to do what may not come until agency officials actually select finalists for negotiations.

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