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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.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What The Bigelow/Lockheed Agreement Says about Lockheed

Everyone seems to be talking about what the deal between Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin to us an Atlas V to take people to the inflatable space station says about what Bigelow is doing. I, however, see it a different way. What does it say about Lockheed?

It is common among new space folks to talk about traditional aerospace as "dinosaurs" who live off the government and pooh-pooh creativity and innovation. However, what I think this proves it the more correct statement that they are looking for profit.

Lockheed builds rockets for the military and NASA because it is a safe way to make money. What the new agreement with Bigelow shows me is that Lockheed Martin sees these stations as a viable way to make money. They don't normally push new ideas because they are risky. Risky ventures are for companies trying to make a profit from nothing, like SpaceX or Bigelow. I think it is a wonderful milestone in new space that a traditional "dinosaur" is willing to throw their hat into a private space venture, expecting to make money.

That’s just one space writers opinion. Continue with the discussion.

1 comment: said...

I never thought about it like that before.

While I do expect most space firms to fall flat on their feet, it is good to see at least one of them being taken seriously by the "established players."

Hopefully SpaceX, etc. can follow Bigelow's lead, and re-ignite the fire for space exploration once again.