As NASA installed the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990, the first space shuttle mission was flown in 1990. Museums are retrieving and reassembling equipment from the Astro-1 mission, which was launched 30 years ago.U.S. business sponsors and volunteers are supporting the Astro Restoration Project; a volunteer-led endeavor that is funded by the U.S. STS-35 (and STS-67) mission hardware Restoration is well underway at the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and at the Smithsonian Institution. People who have retired from NASA are among those working on the project.
A former NASA mechanical engineer and participant of the Restoration effort, Mike Haddad, said he placed the boxes in 1985 as part of preparations for Astro-1. “Remote acquisition units” are the devices used to transfer signals from Astro gear up into space and then back down to Earth, as Haddad put it.
As a rule, Haddad said, NASA refurbishes or repurposes flying hardware when it returns to Earth, or strips and cannibalizes components for other uses. Government surplus sales are a popular venue for auctioning off unusual or “mission odd” objects.A similar fate befell the BBXRT (Broad-Band X-Ray Telescope) which was put up for sale on eBay five years ago by its owner. As part of a separate pointing system, the BBXRT was installed in the shuttle’s payload bay and was attached to a separate structure.