A “gently used” SpaceX rocket has been listed for sale on Craigslist, although the $10 million price tag may put off most buyers.
“Gently used orbital rocket in good condition. Fully loaded with onboard flight computer, launch and landing hardware. Take off and land anywhere! 9X Merlin engines each capable of producing 200k lb.ft of thrust. Just fuel it up and it’s ready to go. Says Falcon 9 on the body, slight burnt paint can be buffed out.”
There are some drawbacks, however. For starters, it will cost you $9.9 million or best offer (and the seller accepts cryptocurrency, so you can pay with those Bitcoins you’ve been hoarding). For another thing, you’ll have to figure out for yourself how to move it; the seller suggests a tugboat. You sure as heck won’t be driving the thing down the highway; at 230 feet long and weighing 56,000 pounds, according to Space Flight Insider, you wouldn’t be able to transport it on the roads.
And as for what you can do with it once it’s yours, well, probably not much. Local laws will limit what you can keep on your property, and a 230-foot-high lawn ornament is almost certainly right out.
This rocket was meant to test very high retrothrust landing in water so it didn’t hurt the droneship, but amazingly it has survived. We will try to tow it back to shore. pic.twitter.com/hipmgdnq16
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 31, 2018
So who is the mystery seller? At this point, it’s not clear, as he or she hasn’t responded to requests for comment. It could very well be a hoax, or it could very well be a joke by SpaceX owner Elon Musk himself.
In case you’re wondering, selling used space equipment is (mostly) perfectly legal. As Space reported back in 2012, then-president Barack Obama signed a law that allows Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo-era astronauts the right to do as they please — including selling them — with mission artifacts they’ve kept and collected over the years. Similarly, as Wired reported in 2010, NASA held a fire sale after officially scrapping the Space Shuttle program, selling whole vehicles ($28.8 million), space suits ($500,000), and other bric-a-brac at bargain-basement prices, hoping most of the items would go to museums and public display.
Of course, NASA is a government agency, and SpaceX is a private company, so the laws may very well be different. Either way, you may want to check with your attorney before you start shelling out $10 million for a used SpaceX rocket.