Bridgeport's Discovery Museum and Planetarium is set to launch a nanosatellite after selling a massive four-ton bronze statue. A previous sale price of $325,000 failed to attract a buyer, but last-minute negotiations on Friday afternoon changed all that.
"It was post auction," said Joe D'Avanzo, the museum's board chairman. "They did not meet the reserve minimum, but negotiations with one of the interested parties did become fruitful late in the day."
In the end, a Houston man got the statue for $300,000. D'Avanzo said the sale was a calculated trade off. The money will cover most of the costs attached to the nanosatellite, which is about the size of a milk carton and will launch on a NASA rocket. "We were an art museum when we first came into existence in 1962, and that's when the statue was donated to us as a gift," said D'Avanzo. "This is our last major piece so we thought it was a way to approach our mission, which is more hands on science for children."
The satellite will beam back data on space dust to the more than 50,000 children who participate in the museum's activities each year.