NASA Say no to NASA, yes to private companies: USA Today

Ivan Seeking

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The report described how, since the 1980s, nearly $5 billion — practically as much as it cost to build the original shuttle fleet — had been wasted in an effort to build some form of shuttle replacement. None of the programs NASA started — and that Congress had approved — ever got off the ground. Most of the programs never even built usable hardware.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003-09-23-zimmerman-edit_x.htm
 

Zero

I'd still suggest some serious government oversight...corporations are evil, in case you missed the last 20 years!
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Zero
I'd still suggest some serious government oversight...corporations are evil, in case you missed the last 20 years!
ZERO! As a corporate stock holder I am deepely offended; at least I would be if I weren't so evil.

No doubt; we don't want the next Enron running the space program. Also, in a free market wouldn't we expect the safety concerns to be balanced against cost to a greater extent than now; you know, acceptable losses?
 

Zero

Safety concerns? That's a laugh...
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by Zero
Safety concerns? That's a laugh...
Its a tough battle to decide who would be more incompetent, a corporation or a government. The government has the inside track though, since it isn't burdened by the need to turn a profit or other market forces.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by russ_watters
Its a tough battle to decide who would be more incompetent, a corporation or a government. The government has the inside track though, since it isn't burdened by the need to turn a profit or other market forces.
True. Counterpoint: Corporations can be much more efficient.
 

kat

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Originally posted by Zero
Safety concerns? That's a laugh...
I guess it would depend what type of safety you're speaking of, unsafe work environment can be very costly to private corporations. On the other hand who bears the cost of unsafe work enviroment in goverment equivalent? I'm not so sure that the government has that great of a track record on safety either. I don't have the numbers to support that (I haven't looked for em, yet.)..but I'm firm enough in my belief to bet on it.
 

Zero

Originally posted by russ_watters
Its a tough battle to decide who would be more incompetent, a corporation or a government. The government has the inside track though, since it isn't burdened by the need to turn a profit or other market forces.
But, at the same time, the drive for profit makes any and all other concerns nearly nonexistant, in this new 'market', where making a buck is more important than human beings, the environment, or anything else you can think of.
 

RageSk8

Corporations are less likely to be radical when the financial risks are so high - to push technology to new places. NASA is known for its innovation - not that corporations are not, but in an area like space where, as mentioned, costs run in the hundreds of millions to even create a design, corporations are less likely to take risks. There is a counterpoint of course, NASA propensity to take risks runs hand in hand with its propensity to lose money on failed projects. We just have to decide if we want to fund a more progressive program (NASA) or a more economically sound program (no doubt one of the big aero-space corporations).
 

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