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Astro Restoration Project putting the Parts together Shuttle Astronomy Payload

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.

In order to photograph celestial objects, the assembly was installed on a three-axis gimbaled platform dubbed the Spacelab Instrument Pointing System.NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Wisconsin-Madison, and John Hopkins University got the three ultraviolet telescopes. It is believed that the National Air and Space Museum is the owner of the pointing mechanism, according to the Smithsonian.

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.

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