The internet is a great thing for folks who really like to buy stuff. You can find anything. Even NASA parts, including rockets. In July NASA confiscated a Saturn RL-10 rocket engine that was being auctioned online. It’s the kind that powered NASA’s Saturn I rocket in the 1960s. I hope the buyer didn’t lose his money in this deal.
Even though NASA does sometimes sell surplus hardware, this engine left NASA without permission. The person trying to sell it claims that he bought it from someone else, who got it from a NASA employee. The engine is said to be worth $200,000. They think that this might be the same engine that showed up on Ebay in 2010.
This 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 go. The document details theft reports involving many NASA items, as well as the rocket in question.