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NASA Space Science Technology

NASA Splits $1.1B For Three Commercial Spacecraft 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the paying-others-to-do-the-heavy-lifting dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today continued its development of commercial space systems by splitting a little over $1.1 billion with Boeing, Space Exploration Technologies (Space X) and Sierra Nevada to develop and build advanced spaceships. 'Today's awards give a huge advantage to the three companies that got them, because competitors will need to fund their own development in its entirety. On the other hand, by partnering with the competitors, NASA has managed to seed the development of five different manned space vehicles for under $1B so far, a leap forward for the evolving space passenger market. They've paid for it on a reward-for-progress basis, handing out pre-agreed amounts of money for each specified milestone. SpaceX was well ahead of the other two competitors because of the unmanned Dragon, which has already berthed with the International Space Station. The company has borne the brunt of the development costs itself, putting in about $300 million of its own money in addition to about $75 million from NASA.'"
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NASA Splits $1.1B For Three Commercial Spacecraft

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  • Re:Bittersweet (Score:5, Informative)

    by jimbolauski (882977) on Friday August 03, 2012 @09:59AM (#40868197) Journal

    When 50% of GDP growth since WW2 has come directly from science, this short-sighted non-funding view will cripple us.

    Ultimately, there are projects where profits cannot be privatized. In these instances, government funding is the only way to go. But this doesn't get votes, so we are stuck.

    Cynically Yours, MyLongNickName

    There is a ton of government funding going into science, composites got a huge boost from the R&D of building lighter planes. Darpa spends defense money and much of that research goes on to commercial applications, many colleges and universities receive federal grants to conduct research. The notion that the US does not spend money on research is foolish there are billions of dollars spend on just that, the only reason you think the amount of money spent on research is small is because the research facilities are scattered, the US doesn't have a ministry of Science to control all research. The US government spends about $140 billion per year, 75 Billion on defense R&D and 65 Billion is classified as non-defense. This does not include and private companies R&D which would easily put the number over 200 billion which is more then any other country.

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