[FPSPACE] NASA recycling of space assets
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 10:58:56 -0800
A fundamental reason why NASA chooses to *not* recycle spacecraft after
their nominal end of mission is that a primary focus of space science
programs is the development of new technology. Once that technology has
been proven out during a nominal mission, much of the institutional
interest in the spacecraft and the program disappears. In fact, the
existence of the spacecraft may be a barrier to funding of the next phase
of the program, an enhanced or second generation version.
A cynical observer might observe that the actual science is simply an
excuse to develop the new technology, especially since the budgets for
processing science data is often 1 percent of the program cost.