CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - In June, NASA’s space shuttle program will take its last flight. The Action News I-Team has uncovered some problems NASA is facing on the ground.
NASA reports obtained by the I-Team show $479,108 dollars worth of high-tech equipment simply vanished at Kennedy Space Center in 2010. I-Team reporter Michael George showed the employee lost property reports to Suzanne Pedone of Inventory Management Solutions. Companies hire IMS to keep track of their inventory and prevent items from falling through the cracks. Pedone says the agency needs to address the problem.
“Something’s broke in the system. It appears that there isn’t really a process working year after year, and it’s probably going to continue to get worse,” she said.
None of the lost equipment is reported to contain classified information. But it is expensive. The items include a video record valued at more than $100,000, 11 radios totaling $35,000, and a wave reflectometer, used to check for breaks in electrical wiring, was lost in 2008, costing $18,000.
NASA officials say they’re aware of the problem.
“We need to do a better job of keeping track of it, and obviously we know that and we want to do a better job of it,” said NASA spokesperson Allard Buetel.
Most of the missing items are computers, TVs, and radio equipment. A handful of items are believed to be stolen, but the majority are lost during office reorganizations and when employees leave NASA. NASA argues the lost items are mostly old and unused. They also say that many items they list as lost are more likely still somewhere at Kennedy Space Center.
“It could be something that was supposed to be listed in this place, stored on a shelf to be excised. It’s not where it’s supposed to be, it’s listed as missing,” Buetel said.
Former NASA employee Keith Cowing says NASA is losing more of its technology because the space shuttle program is ending and the agency is facing cutbacks. Cowing defends the agency, saying they shouldn’t worry too much about lost equipment, which he believes likely consists of mostly outdated items.
“Don’t spend your time tracking computers and not launching spaceships. You need to be launching spaceships,” Cowing said.
NASA is still a government agency, so all that lost equipment still adds up to nearly half a million dollars paid for by taxpayers.
“The general public is not going to be happy if they know assets are missing and it’s not getting addressed,” Pedone said.
NEXT PAGE: A list of lost equipment
NASA Equipment Item Amount Reason
10/20/2008 Organzier - Sony $508.00 Lost or stolen
10/16/2008 Dell laptop $2,245.00 Stolen
9/26/2008 Projector $1,000.00 Lost
9/23/2008 Camera, digital - Coolpix $530.00 Inventory
9/23/2008 Printer $2,235.00 Inventory
12/15/2008 Data transmission set, Gateway monitor, Dell Computer, Dell Monitor $13,875.00 Lost
9/8/2008 Eclipse Inc Wave Reflectometer $18,000.00 Lost
9/8/2008 Digital Computer, Dell $2,603.00 Lost
2009 & 2010
11/20/2009 Cannon Electronic Typewriter $1,181.00 Lost
11/20/2009 DS Club Car (Golf Cart) $3,379.00 Lost
10/20/08 - 12/22/09 Mini Rescue Cutter $1,000 Lost
10/20/08 - 12/22/09 Rescue Saw $1,308.00 Lost
4/28/2009 Transformer Tap Changer Control $2,047.00 Lost
4/28/2009 Thermometer, digital infrared $1,275.00 Lost
12/15/2009 Projector (Proxima) Serial G0301355 $5,335,00 Lost
12/15/2009 Projector (Proxima) Serial G0301463 $5,335,00 Lost
12/15/2009 Cassette, Video (Tape Backup) $2,996.00 Lost
11/20/2009 Server, Video Axis Communications Inc $1,107.00 Lost
11/20/2009 Counter, Hewlett-Packard $7,725.00 Lost
12/1/2009 Radio, Handheld Motorola (1) $3,531.00 Lost
8/1/2009 Camera, Digital Canon, Inc $395.00 Lost
4/9/2009 Camera, Television, Color $690.00 Lost
4/9/2009 Camera, Television $1,740.00 Lost
Oct-09 Canon Digital Camera $1,500.00 Lost
2/19/2010 Raritan Computer Inc (Console, Master) $1,246.00 Lost
3/11/2010 Panasonic TV, year 1992 $534.00 Lost
3/16/2010 Powershot Digital Camera $189.00 Lost
3/8/2010 Display Unit - Telemetry Comm Corp $3,375.00 Lost
3/8/2010 Digital Camera - Hitachi $843.00 Lost
3/8/2010 16-Channel Mainframe Chassis $1,502.00 Lost
3/8/2010 Digital Computer - Compaq $1,218.00 Lost
3/23/2010 Digital Camera - Casio $150.00 Lost
5/25/2010 Monitor, TV - Flat screen $520.00 Believed Stolen
3/31/2010 27" Panasonic TV - older analog $550.00 Lost
1/4/2010 Radio, Handheld Motorola (11) $35,582.00 Lost
6/21/2010 Samsung 32" Flat Screen TV $758 Lost
6/17/2010 Probe, RF Istotropic $1,164.00 Lost
Jun-10 Satellite Telephone $2,699.00 Lost
7/30/2010 Recorder, Vidge Digital $100,391.00 Lost
4/30/2010 Several items: Lens - zoom camera, convergence kit, screen projection, converter scan, converter scan, model, handheld radio, mobile radio $18,210.00 Lost
8/30/2010 Several items: television receiver, 3 still picture cameras, 3 video cameras, 5 boresights, 4 lenses, telescope, 35mm gear, computer graphics console, 3 control modules, 1 speed control, diversity tuner $97,408.00 Lost
7/12/2010 Dell Flat Panel Monitor (2) $1,092.00 Lost
May-10 Detector, Hypergolic Fuel $6,740.00 Lost
2/2/2010 (3) HP laserjet printers $2,854.00 Lost
11/30/2010 Report verifies 62 various items lost, but does not detail what the items are $202,083.00 Lost
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