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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

NASA acting like a consumer?

Who would have thunk it? But NASA has award XCOR a (be still my beating heart) a fixed price contract. According to Alan Bolye at MSNBC Cosmic Log Space marketplace expands

XCOR, which is based just down the street from SpaceShipOne's hangar in Mojave, Calif., will receive $1 million for NASA during the first year of the fixed-price contract, with the aim of developing a demonstration tank. [emphasis mine]
This could be the start of something great. NASA buying stuff just like we do. Instead of providing oversite and design help and cost+(plus plus) contracts to aerospace companies, they just tell everyone what they want and buy it from somebody. Heck they could even use E-bay.

Now I know, a fixed price contract is far from buying off the shelf, but it is a start. It is a start that makes me happy. It is akin to DOD's Open Architecture initiative a decade ago. I know, I was trained on it. You buy COTS products whenever it fits the need. Of course, I don't know how much the military used it past batteries for Bradley tanks, but it is a good idea.

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