Howdy all, Ken again.
I was thinking of ways that NASA might be able to raise money for the brilliant ESAS architecture they’ve contrived. Well, okay, actually I was just wondering what’s going to happen to all of the ISS-related stuff here on the ground once NASA completes and promptly writes off the U.S. portion of the station. I’m thinking of the kinds of equipment used in prep work for a particular component that’s no longer needed and kind of sitting around. Why not put it into the hands of the American people?
Unfortunately, NASA likely has no idea what it has stashed in its closets. The summer I worked at the NASA Academy at Goddard SFC I always hated the drive up to the building we worked in, because in a big pile off to the side of the parking lot were the unassembled components of a satellite dish in rotting crates.
Recently were found some spy suits long locked in a closet at JSC. The MMUs are probably in another locked closet there somewhere.
Now don’t get me wrong, some examples do belong in museums, but there’s also a lot of junk that will never make an interesting exhibit no matter how much you try to dress it up.
So on the NASA-side we have the value-added of cleaning out unused stuff that they don’t have to pay to store and getting a bit of cash in return. $104Bn? No, but some fun money for more Centennial Challenges, or perhaps an offset that NASA very publicly returns to the nation’s coffers to show that they are serious about doing this return to our Moon thing in a cost-effective manner.
On the taxpayer side, you suddenly put a whole-lot of high-tech and unique aerospace equipment in the hands of American entrepreneurs. Some kinds of restrictions would have to be put in place, such as export embargos for X years, only U.S. purchasers, some stuff can only go to universities, and so forth, but it is a do-able concept.
The value-added on the taxpayer side is the unlocking of a lot of assets that are put into the hands of people that can do unique things with them.
I wonder if that old satellite dish is salvageable…