It’s unlikely they’ll lend out ray guns, plasma rifles, and shrink rays though. The detail lef tout by the title is this proposed ‘lending library’ is exclusive to NASA, meaning the general public will never get a chance to wield some really awesome gear. Additionally, it’s a cost-cutting measure because as it turns out NASA wastes so much money providing the tools its engineers use.
This tool lending library is Matthew Ritsko’s idea. He’s a NASA employee whose proposal has already reached the White House. it’s currently going toe-to-toe with other fiscal initiatives like not printing Oasis magazine. The whole point of Ritsko’s idea is for NASA to maintain a well-cataloged tool library so that orders don’t get snarled up in red tape, thereby saving precious dough. Keep in mind that NASA today isn’t what it used to be.
Here’s his pitch:
At Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA employees purchase specialized tools and ground support equipment for developing and building flight projects. Many of the tools are not tracked once projects are complete, and as a result funds are wasted on duplicative purchases. In order to cut down on repeat purchases, Matthew suggests creating a centralized tool repository — or “lending library” — where these tools can be stored, catalogued, and checked in and out by NASA employees.
So at this point, it’s uncertain if tool lending bags the top prize of the SAVE Program. You can vote though (open the link).