None of which changes the fact that we had a fully functional RoboShuttle. Screw space research: All we need is David Hasselhoff and some paint and we can make a sequel to Knight Rider that's out of this world.
When NASA talks about recycling, they mean going round the planet more than once. In space everything is automatically awesome, even donating old clothes. When the International Space Station crew disposed of an expired Orlan space suit, they wired it with sensors, a voice synthesizer, and transmission systems to talk about its position and temperature before throwing it into space.
"I think, therefore I am about to be hurled into decaying orbit."
Astronauts are so smart that they can turn old clothes into talking robots, and so badass that they do it just to burn them up in Earth's atmosphere. They only gave it a voice so it could tell everyone how it felt on the way down. They claimed it was for science, but it was clearly a global warning to all machines not to try anything. This is how you stage a public hanging for Terminators with hyperalloy neck bones. The only other person to be so awesome with old clothes is a Time Lord.