99luftballon writes "The head of NASA Ames Research Center has said that he expects any colonization of Mars, the Moon or asteroids to be done by private companies rather than by NASA. There's some interesting parallels with the East India Company, although that was hardly a triumph of capitalism. From the article: 'Dr. Simon Worden, director at NASA Ames Research Center, told The Register that the agency was firmly enmeshing itself with the private sector, citing cooperation on the Dragon capsule being developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX team as a good example. NASA developed a heat shield material called PICA (Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator), capable of withstanding 1850 degrees Celsius (3360 degrees Fahrenheit), and gave it to SpaceX, who manufactured it.' The article also mentions Google's head of space projects, who has 'Intergalactic Federation King Almighty and Commander of the Universe' on her business cards."