NASA Thinking Ahead to Keep Up Launch Schedule
News story originally written on February 17, 1999

NASA officials have asked the U. S. Space and Rocket Center museum to return parts from two solid rocket boosters. They had given the parts to the museum in 1988 to be part of a full-size space shuttle exhibit.

Even though the solid rocket boosters were designed for repeated use, some have been lost or damaged. In 1982, two sank to the bottom of the ocean when their parachutes didn't open. In 1986, two were destroyed with the Challenger. Four others were damaged when they landed in the ocean.

NASA can use the parts from the museum to help keep up its launch schedule. It would cost $300,000 to take the parts from the museum, get them ready to fly, and build replacements for the display. Otherwise it would cost between $5 and $10 million to build new parts. It would also take about three years.

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