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NASA Space

The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA 160

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-NASA-starts-looking-like-the-USPTO dept.
schwit1 writes: Rather than work in NASA, the best young engineers today are increasingly heading to get jobs at private companies like SpaceX and XCOR. This is a long article, worth reading in its entirety, but this quote sums it up well: "As a NASA engineering co-op student at Johnson Space Center, Hoffman trained in various divisions of the federal space agency to sign on eventually as a civil servant. She graduated from college this year after receiving a generous offer from NASA, doubly prestigious considering the substantial reductions in force hitting Johnson Space Center in recent months. She did have every intention of joining that force — had actually accepted the offer, in fact — when she received an invitation to visit a friend at his new job with rising commercial launch company SpaceX.

Hoffman took him up on the offer, flying out to Los Angeles in the spring for a private tour. Driving up to the SpaceX headquarters, she was struck by how unassuming it was, how small compared to NASA, how plain on the outside and rather like a warehouse. As she walked through the complex, she was also surprised to find open work areas where NASA would have had endless hallways, offices and desks. Hoffman described SpaceX as resembling a giant workshop, a hive of activity in which employees stood working on nitty-gritty mechanical and electrical engineering. Everything in the shop was bound for space or was related to space. ... Seeing SpaceX in production forced Hoffman to acknowledge NASA might not be the best fit for her. The tour reminded her of the many mentors who had gone into the commercial sector of the space industry in search of better pay and more say in the direction their employers take." At NASA, young engineers find that they spend a lot of time with bureaucracy, the pace is slow, their projects often get canceled or delayed, and the creative job satisfaction is poor. At private companies like SpaceX, things are getting built now.
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The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

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  • by Moof123 (1292134) on Friday August 15, 2014 @02:35PM (#47680555)

    Wow you are ignorant.

    Yes, the average federal worker makes double the average salary across the US. However, most federal employees have to have a college degree, which makes a comparison between a Federal employee and a Walmart employee pretty meaningless. My guess is you already know this and are likely either a mindless Fox watching drone, or a paid shill.

    When skills are normalized, federal workers make substantially less (http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/01-30-FedPay.pdf). The very top of the federal pay scale is under 150k (and the DC area is very pricey to live in), compare that to silicon valley or Wall Street.

    NASA has been starved down to a rotting skeleton, as it is an easy punching bag for the right.

Brain damage is all in your head. -- Karl Lehenbauer

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