Budget cuts are felt everywhere, and now NASA is salvaging Endeavor for spare parts even though the space shuttle has been retired and on display for four years. Times are hard, and you can tell when even NASA is doing its best to cut costs of their program.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be taking old and used water tanks from the shuttle Endeavor in order to redesign, spiff up and then them send to the International Space Station (ISS). In a short quote from NASA spokesman, Daniel Huot, it was more than implied that the move was for the sake of cutting costs, which are admittedly quite high.
A quick review of the figures would lead anyone to understand why NASA is going as far as hunting for spare parts in museums, though it has not been reported yet just how much money they would be saving by re-using old water tanks from a retired space shuttle.
Endeavor has been spending its retirement for the past four years in the California Science Center, on full display for visitors and, quite possibly, as it’s main attraction. It’s a significant piece of history that has clocked 25 successful flights to the ISS from its launch on May, 1992 and to its retirement in May, 2011.
However, Endeavor is once again called to duty, or at least a few spare parts of it that might help NASA trim down on costs and make use of pieces that could benefit members on the ISS in the future.
NASA is removing and planning on reusing the water tanks, that are each 40 pounds in weight and have a combined capacity of approximately 80 gallons, constructed for more mission than the space shuttle actually saw, so it makes perfect sense for the space administration to still eye their potential.
The tanks are not usually viewed by the public, so the actual display of Endeavor would reportedly not be affected in the slightest, which is good news for one of the biggest points of interest in the California Science Center. Visitors will not note any difference, as NASA has not confirmed salvaging any other parts.
The Science Center’s president, Jeff Rudolph, has presented himself pleased with the situation, in spite of the fact that there was no previous agreement which would allow NASA to retrieve parts of its retired ship. However, Rudolph stated that he was happy to work with the space agency in order to provide cost-cutting solutions to important missions and better accommodate astronauts on the ISS.