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1 Shiplord Kirel  Thu, May 31, 2012 9:15:38am

Contrary to a lot of what you hear from the lazy, ignorant media, this is NOT about free enterprise vs. government. NASA has always bought its rockets from established contractors like Boeing, Lockheed, and their assorted predecessors. It is about Elon Musk and his SpaceX team hijacking the established contractors' 50 year old gravy train and showing them up for the monopolists and profiteers they are. The Shuttle could do the same job for five times the cost. Judging from some of the comments I've seen at various news sites, there are people who liked it that way. I wonder which of the fatcat contractors they worked for?

2 Daniel Ballard  Thu, May 31, 2012 10:14:29am

re: #1 Shiplord Kirel

I'm happy to see the new player in the market. Virgin Galactic is just a dangerous theme park. Sub orbital just has very little utility. But I must admit that Space X is getting a lot of engineering for free. Developed by private contractors and NASA back in the day. Space X has the benefit of being settler rather than a pioneer. Remember the pioneers get the arrows, the settlers get the farms.

3 Shiplord Kirel  Thu, May 31, 2012 11:44:39am

re: #2 Daniel Ballard
NASA's legacy contractors; Boeing, Lockheed-Martin etc.; have the benefit of the same pioneering groundwork and still cannot come anywhere close to matching SpaceX's costs. Indeed, since they have the data first hand they should have that much more of an advantage.

Government science agencies do best when they are doing basic research and development that is beyond the capability or, frankly, the interest of private enterprise. This is a successful tradition that goes back to Lewis and Clark and such agencies as the Naval Observatory. NASA has left a tremendous legacy of research and development, demonstrating the feasibility of spaceflight and establishing the basic principles of the technology. Dragon itself is an update of the concept proven in the Apollo program. It is time for others to move ahead with practical applications while NASA continues its mission of research and development.


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