November 6, 2009

Washington, DC—Museums and libraries are invited to apply for free NASA space shuttle artifacts, including small items such as astronaut helmets, gloves, and boots, and large items such as shuttle Motion Based Simulators and Crew Compartment Trainers. NASA will retire the Space Shuttle Program at the end of 2010 and is eager for the public to learn about the wonders of space exploration through museum and library exhibitions. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is helping NASA reach out to eligible institutions, including museums attended by the public and free libraries serving all residents of a community, district, state, or region.

Museums and libraries must first be determined as eligible through the State Agency for Surplus Property in their state. Artifacts, which will be released as they are no longer needed by the Space Shuttle Program, may be viewed by eligible institutions that have been given a log-on and password at the Web site

The artifacts are free, but eligible recipients must cover shipping and special handling fees. Shipping fees on smaller items will be relatively inexpensive, while larger items may involve extensive disassembly, preparation, shipping, and reassembly costs. NASA will work closely with potential recipients, on a case by case basis, to address any unique special handling costs.

The artifacts are offered in batches. For eligible museums and libraries, the current screening period ends Nov. 29. A new batch of artifacts will be made available in January 2010. For the latest information about NASA shuttle transition and artifacts, visit