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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.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Private Moon Base Prize

The Wall Street Journal has a slightly different plan than NASA to settle the Moon:

[w]hy not take half of that and offer it as a bounty to the first private
company to build the station and man it. A prize in the neighborhood of $50
billion is bound to attract plenty of interest --
(thanks to RLV and Space Transport News)


Darnell Clayton said...

I don't know. I think it would be better via NASA, that way if something goes wrong, then we have somebody to blame (not to mention we have the confidence that they would be able to do it, as the private sector may have the passion but lack the financial resources for multiple attempts at the prize).

Manny said...

Post-Apollo NASA does not have a good track record with major programs (e.g Shuttle, ISS). Stimulating the commercial sector by offering real prize money, on the other hand has a stellar track record (e.g. Lyndburg, X-Prize).
We would get many times the "bang for the buck" by taking the WSJ approach. Plus, we would only have to pay for delivered results. Wiht NASA you pay if they succeed, and you pay more if they fail (e.g. Shuttle and ISS).

Brian Dunbar said...

Pournelle has been saying this - and says it again today in his not-blog - for years.

It only takes one act of Congress to get the ball rolling.

They have the power to do it - they may lack the political will.