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NASA, Strapped For Cash, Puts Kennedy Space Center Up For Rent

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Looking for an awesome place to throw a party? Look no further than a space shuttle launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

Part of the iconic NASA facility based in Cape Canaveral, Florida is going up for rent, the Washington Post reports. The spaces available include two mobile launch platforms, one of the world’s longest runways and a "slightly used" space shuttle launchpad. The reason? The spaces are both too expensive to maintain and too expensive to tear down, Robert Cabana, the space center's director, told WaPo.

The plan to put up the space center for rent comes as NASA is coping with huge budget cuts. President Obama's proposed 2013 budget plan for NASA would cut the agency's planetary sciences division by 20 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times. In addition, programs that send high-tech robots to explore the solar system are also getting hard hit.

But NASA isn't the first government agency to cope with budget woes by selling un- or under-used property. In September, Obama proposed selling government property like underused airstrips and islands to raise revenue and close the budget gap, according to The New York Times.

WaPo also reported in March that the Obama administration planned to sell federal buildings including office towers and courthouses to get rid of underused properties that the government no longer needs. Though the sale would ultimately bring in $15 billion over three years, Jeff Zients, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, described the plan at the time as a slow and painful process, according to CBS News.

During the height of the recession, one state used what some might call an extreme sale of government property to raise revenue. Arizona legislators considered selling the state House and Senate buildings to close budget gaps, according to a July 2009 report from the Arizona Republic.

Selling or renting underused government property seems like a popular plan, but it may not be an effective strategy for substantially reducing the deficit, according to a July report from the Congressional Budget Office.

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