Re: Mars-One: People living on Mars in 2023
Maybe this is a topic for another thread, but I'm not completely clear on how that makes SpaceX different from, say, Lockheed or North American/Rockwell/Boeing. Is it simply that NASA has less control over the design/construction and mostly just pays for it as opposed to directing (contracting) the design/construction and staffing the launch and control facilities?Turn to the public? There would be no SpaceX without NASA. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX#Funding
FundingAbout half of the total funding to SpaceX came from NASA, and a good chunk of the rest came from the DoD. Musk would have had a very hard time finding investors had it not been for those government contracts. The development of that Dragon to the ISS was funded almost entirely by NASA. This is something that NASA has very much wanted to happen for a long time, and has been working with industry to make that happen. (Well, some parts of NASA. Other parts of NASA are stuck in the stone age.)
As of May 2012, SpaceX has operated on total funding of approximately one billion dollars in its first ten years of operation. Of this, private equity has provided about $200M, with Musk investing approximately $100M and other investors having put in about $100M. The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts. NASA has put in about $400-500M of this amount, with most of that as progress payments on launch contracts.