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View Diary: Space History Lesson, Part I (8 comments)

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  •  NASA didn't "give" SpaceX money. (1+ / 0-)
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    quarkstomper

    With the retirement of the shuttle, NASA was left filling its crew and cargo requirement using Russian vehicle.  To that end, Congress and the previous Administration agreed to fund COTS contracts to demonstrate cheaper cargo and crew lift.  SpaceX and other competitors were only paid upon meeting delivering the appropriate demo at each milestone.  The grand prize would be contracts to supply the station.  The government no longer requires a $1.2 billion lifter to haul material to the ISS, and the private sector develops a generation of lifters that will reduce ground to LEO costs by half to two-thirds.  Not socialism, but certainly public-private partnership in pursuit of clear, attainable mutual profit.

    •  Even though NASA indeed didn't "give it away"... (1+ / 0-)
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      Pete Cortez

      ... my point was that NASA did good by funding the private sector for a viable space program.

      I've actually been an advocate of COTS back in the '80's (even though COTS didn't exist back then). I believed then, as I do now, that NASA should push the frontiers, and let business follow.

      The competitors do get paid upon completion of their program objectives. I just find it funny that a lot of Conservatives would bemoan that idea; that's what I meant by the snarky "socialism" dig.

      I guess this was my awkward way of saying that the big bad Government did a good thing funding COTS.

      All your points are valid. Thanks for keeping me honest.

      Reuse and commonality are the keys to a robust and profitable space program.

      by The NM STAR Group on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 04:45:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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