Deputy Director of NASA, Shana Dale, has an editorial out about vision and innovation. On the anniversary of the Wright Brother's flight (December 17th), she says:
NASA is leveraging the power of innovation to enable a viable commercial enterprise in space. This approach is a radical departure from tradition for NASA, which previously has relied on major aerospace contractors and its own engineering talent and resources to acquire their own space capabilities. The demands today, however, are for more efficient, more affordable access to space, something the Wright brothers of today are keen to deliver.
With the Vision for Space Exploration, which includes human and robotic missions to the moon and Mars, NASA will need to free its resources to focus on long-range highly complex engineering challenges. Routine yet necessary missions to bring humans and supplies to the Moon, to service the International Space Station, and for other purposes will need to become more of a streamlined, turnkey operation. Building this essential infrastructure for space exploration, however, will require a dedicated and strong commercial sector.
Hard to argue with that.