If you follow NASA at all, you know the agency has had some funding troubles of late, forcing changes to its manned spaceflight and Mars exploration programs. Among more high-profile woes, the strapped budget almost doomed one of the agency’s cheapest missions, the prolific Galaxy Evolution Explorer. But Chris Martin had another idea.
Yesterday NASA formally loaned the telescope to Caltech, the first time the space agency has turned over the reins to a functioning spaceborne asset. It may not be the last, however — if funding pressures persist, the GALEX experiment could pave the way for many future spacecraft adoptions.