The tone of the bidder's communication seemed authentic and knowledgeable. They required the parts to maintain their systems, which still communicated with the Voyager and Pioneer spacecrafts -- the most distant man-made objects in the solar system. Who would have imagined that even NASA would have legacy equipment issues?
We both enjoyed finding someone to converse with about this old technology, and we corresponded back and forth a few times. Ultimately, the other bidder had deeper pockets and won the auction, and I was able to find the parts from a supplier who specialized in refurbished equipment.
I've always been fascinated with space, but never imagined that my job would take such an unexpected turn: firsthand knowledge of a technology used both on earth and to the farthest reaches of the heavens.
This story, "Space race: The search for 25-year-old spare parts," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.