Space Junkyard in North Hollywood

Norton Sales Inc. of North Hollywood has the space technology you need, at bargain basement prices. Looking for parts to get into space cheap? You're not alone.


(Apollo-era engine for sale examined by Dave Masten)

Dave Masten heads a company named Masten Space Systems, a Santa Clara company that is trying to build a reusable suborbital launcher. Inside Norton's 12,000 square-foot warehouse are Apollo-era engines, Saturn V J-2 engines, Thor rocket engines - the list goes on.

Norton has provided parts to such space entrepreneurs as Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites and Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

The idea of junk yards with spare parts (or spare space ships) is a fond dream of science fiction writers. Robert Heinlein looks for a ship in a whole field full of freighters abandoned on the Moon in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children. In Footfall, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle make good use of scrap rockets right here on Earth. Ray Bradbury wrote a very touching short story about a father who cobbles together a "space ship" from junk to give his children the vacation of a lifetime.


("I'm Toydarian - Jedi mind tricks don't work on me... only money")

And of course, one of my favorite Star Wars characters, Watto, is also a space junk dealer, offering robots and assorted second-hand space craft parts.

Read more at One giant heap for mankind via Slashdot.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/26/2007)

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