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May 07, 2008 

NASA to Loan Space Shuttle Main Landing Gear Tires For Educational Purposes - Subject to ITAR Requirements, Of Course

Here's a unique ITAR-related story: NASA has established a new artifact loan program to help museums and other organizations traditionally not associated with NASA to gain access to NASA artifacts. As part of this program, NASA has announced that it has a number of flown and non-flown space shuttle main landing gear tires from space shuttle missions available for long-term loan to museums, schools and civic organizations. According to NASA:
The long-term loan of these tires may be used to educate, inspire or inform the public about NASA’s scientific and technological achievements through art, sculpture, furniture, building structures, exhibits or other innovative uses of the artifacts. These items may not be used for the promotion of any organization or entity, or for commercial purposes.
Because space shuttle landing gear tires fall are covered by the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and are subject to the ITAR, NASA has provided the following notice to applicants:
The space shuttle landing gear tires shall not be transferred to foreign nationals, in the U.S. or abroad, or exported out of the United States, without specific approval of a knowledgeable NASA export control official, and/or unless an export license/license exemption is obtained/available from the United States Department of State. Violations of these regulations are punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
Proposals for this opportunity must be submitted to NASA by June 11, 2008 and will be selected "on the basis of the creative and innovative merit of the proposal, past experience, technical knowledge, outreach potential, educational potential, both fiscal and schedule soundness, alignment with NASA outreach and educational goals, and attraction of nontraditional audiences."

A list of the available space shuttle flown main landing gear tires can be found here. All of these space shuttle tires were manufactured by the Michelin Aircraft Tire Company, "the sole tire supplier to the NASA space shuttle" at its Norwood, North Carolina facility.

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