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Unorthodox:

--- Quote from: BUncle on March 14, 2012, 05:05:55 PM ---How so?  The government, acting on behalf of everyone, invested.  Everyone profited.
--- End quote ---

No, everyone didn't.  By the very way Govt contracts work, parties were excluded, and everything cost 10X what it should. 


--- Quote ---It's not the sort of thing a business can directly profit from
--- End quote ---

Yes, actually, space is big business.  Look at this business of putting satellites up, alone.  Now, privatize some actual space missions the shuttle used to.  Satellite maintenance is just another service contract.  ISS ferry, no problem.  These companies are now building crew transporters privately, no problem.  Let them continue, and sell out missions like anything else.  Hell, pay someone to start cleaning up/salvaging the junk. 

This Govt moratorium on no one is allowed to develope new rocket engines/go to space/put anything up because that's the job of NASA is what has destroyed the last 50 years.  Had these private firms been allowed to take over all that stuff from the get go, and have NASA focused on things like the BUILDING the ISS, moon landings, pie in the sky things, not all the routine stuff it wasted billions on the last 50 years.  Had they let the private firms handle that stuff, they would have found the cheapest means of doing it, which in these instances means better engines, lighter payloads, etc, which NASA could have then used in their stuff. 

Do they need some oversight of such things, yes.  Do they need NASA engineers on the ground floor of every little thing with 'this is the way it's always been done'?  No. 

Buster's Uncle:
You typed that on NASA spin-off tech.  Everyone profited.

And the rest is a matter of international treaties - I'm not saying that it was a great idea, but you have to admit that Big Brother had reasons.  This is dangerous stuff, after all.  Seriously; we're talking about enourmous energies at every stage, and I wouldn't want no regulation.  We've had such good luck with deregulation in so many fields in my adult life...

At any rate, the real money's in asteroid mining, and I'm not sure private enterprize can work up the capital to make that happen any time soon.  You know I'm no fan of bureaucrats and politicians, but they have their uses - mostly in protecting us from robber barons.

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