NRO Gifts NASA Two Leftover Space Telescopes, SpacePolicyOnline
"The CAA's response to the newswas rather muted. The reaction was surprisingly flat for a community that received a fairly valuable gift. At a media teleconference later in the day, NASA's Michael Moore, deputy astrophysics division director,estimated thatabout $250 million in mission costs could be avoided by using one ofthe NRO telescopes. He added that the telescopes cost about $75,000-$100,000 to storeat the manfacturer's (ITT Excelis) facilities in Rochester, NY. In response to a question atthe media teleconference, Hertz said he thought CAA members were "excited at the possibilities," while Dressler acknowledged that some people "need to have a lot more time" to consider the situation. This is a "sharp right turn," he added, compared to what was recommended in NWNH."
"But on Tuesday, NASA was still keeping relatively quiet about the apparent windfall. "We're not pushing this information like we normally do," said Michael Moore, NASA's acting deputy director for astrophysics."
Keith's note: OK. So the status quo seems to be grumpy, cautious, etc. about another means to accomplish THEIR expensive long term astronomy plan without any sudden "right turns". Are there not other uses that this hardware could be put to - ones that have minimal involvement with these stuffy folks who are all set in their high-cost way of doing business? Every time I have tried to engage NASA's representatives about out-of-the-box thinking about alternate ways to use these telescopes from NRO they quickly retreat into their shells saying "its too early to discuss this". Well gee, they have had a chance to talk about this among themselves for a year and a half! If this behavior persists I am afraid that NASA will simply be spending the equivalent of someone's college education every year storing the stuff in Rochester, New York. Remember Triana aka 'Goresat'? Where is it now?
Its interesting how NASA's human exploration programs all seek a "flexible path" as they structure their programs and missions, yet NASA's space science programs seem to lack that capability - or any interest in emulating it.