Since when is NASA a big daddy defense contractor? This is a task they could manage in-house with the resources they already have on hand.
The original hardware is missing, sure. But that's no big deal. RF is RF. They can use a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and throw together a program to parse the telemetry into something meaningful. After all, the only thing disposed of was the hardware. The specifications for everything else is on file.
All they need is some support instead of more snarky remarks. Sure, NASA kinda fucked up when the hardware was trashed, but hardware that's been idle for 15-20 years looks like it's only collecting dust (which it was). But who actually knew it was still needed? That is plenty long enough for the engineers who once used it to move on to other employers or to simply grow old enough to reach retirement and leave.