Can NASA Get Out Of Its Own Way?

NASA's role revisited at 50-year mark, Government Executive

"The focus of space exploration today is in the economic arena," Griffin remarked. "We see the transformative effects of the space economy all around us through numerous technologies and life-saving capabilities," like global positioning systems and satellite-based hurricane forecasts. Space fans say that is true -- but NASA isn't taking the message to heart. "NASA's often its own worst enemy," said Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWatch.com and a former NASA scientist. He is of the mindset that NASA has value, but no one seems to understand that value. If NASA disappeared today, the space economy would continue, Cowing said. "There's enough of an impetus in the private sector," plus the satellites are built and launched by private companies."

Why they call me the Rocket Boy, Homer Hickam, LA Times

"So rather than being an impediment, NASA can and should be the driver of commerce, the provider of the technology necessary to make some big money in space. The truth is that private enterprise already has a huge presence up there. It's not NASA but commercial companies that send all those communications satellites rocketing aloft to the tune of billions of dollars of profits every year. Boeing, LockMart and hundreds of other companies, large and small, work in the space business, and they also create new techniques and technology; but they'd be nowhere if NASA and the Department of Defense hadn't shown the way by funding the first big rockets and satellites."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 2, 2007 7:54 PM.

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