Services and Human Spaceflight

Let the good service of well-deservers be never rewarded with loss. Let their thanks be such as may encourage more strivers for the like.
–Elizabeth I

I’ve been thinking a lot about services (and likewise have been thinking about this post for a long time).

Since wrapping up the underlying contract strategy two years ago for making NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and Space Vehicle Mockup Facility available for reimbursable commercial use, I’ve been focused on a similar strategy for making NASA’s core “plan/train/fly” human spaceflight services also available for reimbursable commercial use.  The fits and starts with wrestling with a new strategy in an unpredictable space policy environment have been a challenge, yet the challenges go beyond that, to the following fundamental question: what is a service?  Whether we’re talking about commercial crew and cargo transportation services to low Earth orbit, the “plan/train/fly” services I just mentioned, or even NASA internal support services such as information technology, human resources, procurement, etc., we still have to wrestle with the same fundamental question: what is a service, and how does thinking about services differently make for a better future?

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Services and Human Spaceflight