This reminds me of a joke:
Lets assume Mrjworth is correct and the price is $1.7 billion.
After years of scrimping and saving this geezer has saved $1,699,999,998 dollars. His only two dollars of buying the shuttle.
He goes up to his friend:
Shuttle buyer: "Can I borrow 2 dollars."
Friend: "What for?"
Shuttle buyer: "I want to buy a space shuttle."
Friend: "Here have 4 dollars and get me one as well!"