Engineers from NASA are being forced to cannibalise old parts from museums to meet budget goals for new chunks of the International Space Station.
When the space shuttle program was shut down in 2011, the four remaining craft were sent to museums around the United States. Now, those shuttles are being stripped for useful parts.
This week, Nasa is removing four tanks that stored water for the crew of the shuttle Endeavour, which is parked permanently in the California Science Center. Back in May, the same tanks were removed from the shuttle Atlantis, on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Each set of tanks has a combined capacity of 300 litres, and were designed for many more missions than they actually flew. As such, they're still in good working order and a Nasa spokesperson told New Scientist that they could form part of a new water storage facility on the International Space Station.
Be he added: "There is currently no timeline for when they would fly and the design details, certifications and deployment details for the project are still in development."
Image credit: Duncan Geere // CC BY-SA 3.0