Proper Role of NASA

Jerry Pournelle, on the proper role of NASA:

It looks to me as if the proper role of NASA and the Air Force (Navy too if they’ll get in on it) is X programs; focus on good technology development. When it comes time for industry to build new craft we’ll have proved out the concepts and can go to production. That’s how we developed the best Air Force in the world. Develop the technology, let the aerospace companies build the spacecraft, and operating companies will fly them.

This sounds similar to the “destinations versus capabilities” argument still echoing through the halls of Congress and NASA. The biggest challenge for moving forward in a capabilities-driven direction is the political and infrastructure inertia resisting such a move. Clearly, success in such a shift requires more than a half-hearted attempt through a budget rollout.

 

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Proper Role of NASA