Unconfirmed sources report that NASA has decided to cancel the Space Shuttle Program as soon as the current mission is over. NASA staff have begun the task of closing down the program and have contracted Shuttle Trader Magazine to sell off the remaining shuttles, spare parts, and related hardware. Sighting huge cost overruns and continued safety problems NASA managers have finally decided to end the program. The shuttle program which had its first launch in 1981 has flow 114 missions including the current one, but has suffered two fatal accidents.
“This is a sad day for NASA.” Says Administrator Michael Griffin. “But also one of renewed hope for the future of NASA’s manned space flight program. The end of the Shuttle Program means that we will begin a new program that will be bigger better and more expensive than anything we have undertaken before. I’m proud of the people that have kept the shuttle going, but the Shuttle Program is done. Its time for the shuttle, like an old dog, to lie on the porch and let the younger dogs chase the rabbits.”
“The Shuttles were nice when we fist made them in 1981, but really they are now 25 years old.” Says Gregg Easterbrook, a longtime Shuttle critic. “Who out there is driving 25 year old cars? These babies are classics with 100 millions miles on them. Its time to send The Shuttles to museums were they belong. I’m just glad the folks at Shuttle Trader Magazine are there to help NASA unload these turkeys.”
“We are proud that NASA has chosen us to help close down the program.” Says Ben Kickinger of Shuttle Trade Magazine. “We feel our publication is uniquely suited to help NASA out. Our readership is focused on the purchase of used shuttles and related hardware and is very excited about the prospect of picking up Shuttle program equipment.”
Kickinger admits that while he is excited about the contract, Shuttle Trader Magazine has had a tough time of it ever since it started back in 1984. Experts hailed its launch as a key step in the democratization of space, but initial high hopes for the magazine soon faded. The amount of used space shuttles on the market never really met expectations and Kickinger was forced to start other ventures to help keep Shuttle Trader Magazine afloat. These other ventures Auto Trader and Boat Trader magazines have been very successful and has allowed the money losing Shuttle Trader to Continue.
Kickinger expects the Shuttles to go for “several” million dollars each.