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Old October 7 2012, 05:38 PM   #199
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
The failure of the Very Light Jet model makes me question privatization.
The Dot-com bubble and the housing market collapse makes EVERYONE question privatization. That doesn't mean that private companies shouldn't be involved in information technology or consumer finance, it simply means those industries need to be properly regulated to prevent weird things like this from happening.

Same goes for aerospace, same goes for space exploration. If spaceflight really is vital to our national security, privatization is still a better way of doing it, but the private operators need to be kept in line so they don't get too big for their britches. Keeping it under control of a government agency gives us more control than we really need and has a lot of other disadvantages.

Much more to the point: it's pretty much inevitable that private companies WILL carve out niche for themselves, sooner or later (probably sooner). At the rate NASA is going, their capabilities will not even be able to keep pace with private operators and they'll end up having to get all of their equipment from outside sources anyway. Even if the SLS becomes operational, in the end it's still a rebranding and minor upgrade of 1970s technology; its successor will probably be selected from platforms offered by SpaceX and Boeing and whoever else is in business at the time. By 2100, NASA will be reduced to a research agency that contracts with private operators to get anything done.
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