September 25, 2009 — Who can afford to buy a space shuttle?
The answer may surprise you -- your family or friends.
OK, these aren’t the traditional, 184-feet long, 78-feet wide space shuttles that carry crew and equipment to the orbiting International Space Station. Instead, these shuttles are made out of fiberglass and are 8-foot pieces of art that would make the ultimate lawn ornament.
The 20 space shuttle statues, each with a unique design, are up for bid as part of a community-wide art program, Shuttles Orbiting the Space Coast. Bidding starts at $500 and runs October 1-8.
Similar to Cows on Parade, 35 local companies sponsored the statutes in 2008 and artists decorated each one. After an eight-month tour around Florida's Space Coast, the Shuttle Statues are ready for auction and are awaiting their final flight coordinates. (Pun intended.)
The program was a fundraiser for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and paid tribute to NASA's 50th Anniversary and its longest running manned vehicle, the space shuttle.
The statues display a wide range of artistic taste from pop-art to animals to celestial scenes. Some even include astronaut autographs. The auction is open to anyone nationwide, as the statues will be shipped to their winner. All statutes have been sealed so they can be displayed outside. Click here to see the shuttles available.
The ASF is a nonprofit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America's original Mercury astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in these fields.