Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NASA's rocket stolen and found in eBay

From: William J.
Sent: March 27, 2013
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: NASA's rocket stolen and found in eBay

NASA's rocket stolen and found in eBay
Someone needs to report NASA to eBay for not delivering on an auction item. For some reason, the organization confiscated a Saturn RL-10 rocket engine (just like the one pictured above) that was being auctioned online, saying it was theirs and they wanted it back.

The story comes out of a report from the Office of the Inspector General at NASA that outlines audit and investigative information to regulate where our tax dollars are going. In the document are theft reports involving copper, various NASA items, and the aforementioned rocket. We can see sneaking out some copper tubing to sell on the scrap metal market, but how in the world do you get a whole rocket engine out of the building and past security!

The RL-10 was used to power the early Saturn rockets back in the 1960's. Being the first liquid hydrogen-fueled rocket engine used by the US, it still exists in a modified version in today’s launch vehicles. With a minimum of 15,000 pounds of thrust being generated by the engine, we’re not sure what the buyer was intending to do with it.

Hopefully it was just for memorabilia purposes, but the fear is that the technology contained within could be used to make some sort of missile. The individual who was in possession of the engine reported that he bought it from someone who acquired it from a NASA employee.

It’s probably a good thing that NASA took it’s property back before he strapped it onto his Chevy Impala. ~William

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