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View Diary: So, This is Mars. (Updated) (172 comments)

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  •  Not necessarily. (18+ / 0-)

    What we've done is formed a new public/private relationship than the one forged in the Apollo era.  Back then it was cost-plus contracts between NASA and military-industrial contractors who simply carried out the specs they were given.  Now NASA asks for a capability and doesn't try to dictate how it's supplied, and gives contractors money to meet specific performance milestones in developing the capability, then rewards success with services contractrs.  I.e., they don't buy technology, they buy results.  It's a better system for all involved.

    Without a strong safety net and living wage, all labor is forced labor.

    by Troubadour on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 09:23:58 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That's good to know (9+ / 0-)

      I've been worried that they were privatizing everything NASA.  

      Some of our biggest developments (telemetry, microelectronics, and a long list of other things) came directly from the space program.  People think that NASA is a waste, but don't realize how much wealth and jobs they've actually created as well as how much better our lives are with these inventions.

      And those are just incidental byproducts from all the knowledge and awesomeness NASA has give us.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:36:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More like how aviation got off the ground (5+ / 0-)

      (Ok, that was pretty bad, sorry)

      Remember, the military bought planes and, more important, the post office contracted with flyers to deliver mail, which gave them guaranteed incomes, which allowed them to expand, and to improve the planes.

      This is the same kind of thing. Govt says we need x, we can pay y, who can do it?

    •  Its a lot more complicated. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, JekyllnHyde

      Trust me.  My Little Brother does this for his day job.  I just happened to be present while he was discussing one of these contracting issues with a partner over the weekend.  NOT a simple cost-plus, but not a simple "capability" request either.  The contract has to be structured rather deliberately and skillfully to get what they actually want rather than what the contractor wants to sell them.  It's not really very efficient.

      And no, they're not buying results; they're buying technology.  They're trying to develop certain things, although they may phrase them in another way in order to meet expectations from various political factions.  And a lot of the products are actually bid by various NASA groups themselves.

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