WASHINGTON — NASA has issued a follow-up Request for Information, or RFI, for ideas from education institutions, science museums and other appropriate organizations about the community’s ability to acquire and publicly display orbiters after the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program.

The original RFI in December 2008 noted that a potential shuttle recipient would have to pay an estimated $42 million for the cost of “safeing” an orbiter, preparing it for display and ferrying it to a U.S. destination airport. NASA has updated the requirements and tasks needed to make each orbiter safe for disposition. The agency will not ask recipients to provide the funds for this activity. Except for cost and scheduled delivery changes, the 2008 and 2010 RFIs are virtually the same. In this follow-up RFI, NASA revised the estimated display preparation and ferrying costs to $28.8 million.

The schedule for transferring the orbiters may be six months earlier than originally anticipated. NASA also desires to make selections a year before receipt of the orbiters, so recipient organizations will have sufficient time to conduct any fundraising activities necessary to support preparation and ferry costs.

RFI responses are due to NASA by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010. Organizations that responded to the original RFI do not need to resubmit a full response, but should clarify their positions with respect to these changes.

NASA is planning to transfer space shuttle Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum. Shuttle orbiters Endeavour and Atlantis will be available for placement no earlier than July, 2011.

For additional information and to view the RFI, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/transition

For additional information about the shuttle program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle