Pages

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Failure of NASA


As everyone has heard by now, NASA continues to have problems. The aging dinosaur cannot compete. It is a typical example of a government behemoth run amok. Instead of continuing to throw money at the problem, the government would have been much better off if they'd closed it and developed grants to private business ventures pursuing space travel.

It's been argued that private business would not be willing to finance anything that wasn't profitable, so trips to remote moons to collect specimens could become a thing of the past. And yet, if the government was willing to pay for it, I believe that they could still get to that remote moon using better technology at a fraction of the price: As long as they dissolved NASA.

23 comments:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm not a big fan of private companies involved in such things.

Space isn't about profit but mankind exploring the universe and that has to be above petty corporate interest.

Having said that perhaps all it needs is a overhaul to clear out the dead wood and waste and I bet it doesn't cost as much as the war.

R2K said...

I think nasa needs to think outside of the box.

mal said...

Grants to private investors got the new world settled, and a few disasters occurred. So be it. "No Risk" does not exist. As long as the program remains in NASA hands and politics rules the wallet, there will never be a safe enough approach to Space. On the flip side, how do you keep some one from cranking loose with something like the NERVA K?

Daniel, Alex, I think NASA's hey day as the leader in new ideas has passed with the politiczation of the Space Program. There hey day occurred when Kennedy committed to a man on the moon in 10 years and stood back to let them work. The process since then has been to add more and more "oversight" to the point that dealing with the potential of "oversight" is more important than whatever their murky mission goals are now.

I once dreamed of working for NASA. Frankly, I am glad life has taken me elsewhere

United We Lay said...

Too much money is being spent on NASA and not enough on education.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Too much money is being spent on the war in Iraq and not enough on education or art for that matter.

United We Lay said...

I think disolving NASA and allowing private companies to take over is a good idea. I think it hasn't happened yet because it's difficult to regulate.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I dunno what to think, but probably private enterprise would do about as well as NASA has done LATELY. But then, look at the airlines...

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

I agree that there's a problem...I just don't know what the FIX is yet. I would have to dissolve it, because I agree with Daniel that space exploration/research should benefit EVERYONE, but at the same time, NASA's got issues.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

You're damn right. My city used to have a huge staff to do all the road construction. Got rid of it and get a lot more done for the same money.

Anonymous said...

Awesome Blog! I added you to my bookmarks. My site is on corvettes if you would like to come and give me a review!

Anonymous said...

The Internet Will Be Clean
"Lots of curses which always existed on the internet disappeared. Will it be cleaner?" Netizens are puzzled now because corresponding replies disappeared which were under news articles of their familiar ...
Ted
my articles: free articles

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

The space program is such an important part of Americana.

I hope for some middle of the road resolution.

Kathleen said...

I don't have a problem with passing it to private enterprise. I'd find it laughable if it weren't so pathetic that we have become paralized by perposterous regulations, oversight and political correctness. If the same standards were applied to the Lewis and Clark expeditions, they would have never gone anywhere. Oh, BTW, there were many who didn't want the funds spent for those expeditions. They didn't see how it helped them personally.

dddragon said...

I have to agree with Barbara about a middle road. Perhaps if NASA's scientists had successful businesspeople on board to help run it more efficiently?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Hi everyone! I'm delighted to see that it's as much interest to you as it is to me. The problem (as I see it) is that if it could have been helped by now, it would have.

You see, NASA isn't run by idiots. It's run by intelligent people who don't have true accountability, so they're easily corrupted. They have no true motivation to do their best, even if they think they may!

The only way to revamp the system would possibly be to put business people with experience at the top (as Dddragon suggested). But even then, I think they would also become corrupted by the easy money and lack of responsibility. Of course, you could directly tie performance to money... but I think this is all 'shutting the barn door after the horse got out.'

We already know that privatization seems to be very successful. And, as I pointed out, if the government was willing to pay well enough for it, private companies would be happy to continue NASA's program of collecting samples on other planets.

However, a compromise is possible. The government could cut NASA's funding in half, and keep it barely alive and functional, while they explored funding private companies.

United We Lay said...

Well said, Saur!

AP3 said...

I'm with Barbara and dddragon.

I wish the money and effort that goes into the military could go into the space program instead. Right now, way too much money and brain power goes into figuring out how to kill and destroy stuff.

Fred said...

They spent one billion dollars and couldnl't get it right. One billion?

NASA should cease to exist. Start over, folks.

Jamie Dawn said...

There are problems for sure. Just think of what they are doing though. How can we expect it to be problem free? It's a risky and dangerous thing, but it is soooo extraordinarily amazing! I'm all for private business taking part. Some reorganization is definitely in order.

Bill R said...

Ad astra per aspera! (To the stars, through difficulties.) We simply need to declare war on Mars. We'll have the Planetary Space Shuttle operational in six months!

SmileDragon said...

lol bill r!

Clear headed said...

Saur said "However, a compromise is possible. The government could cut NASA's funding in half, and keep it barely alive and functional, while they explored funding private companies."

Funny, I envisioned "education" in place of the word "NASA". Off topic, I know - sorry. But I wrote all these donation checks to the school this evening and I think they've already tried your suggestion in the EDUCATION area.

United We Lay said...

Clear, A lot more money should be spent on education. How do we convince people that schools are more important than NASA?