Another example of how our security establishment (including NASA) is riven by sweetheart backroom deals with companies run by former employees. No security “transformation” is possible without ending this process. Elon isn't the only person worried about this.
Someone who worries about this is Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, a highly successful online-payments firm, who has also founded SpaceX, which builds cheap launch vehicles for satellites. He criticises the space agency for recently awarding, without an open tender, a $227m contract for launch services to Kistler Aerospace, of Kirkland, Washington, which last year filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, says Mr Musk, is packed with ex-NASA staff. What sort of signal does that send to the marketplace? he asks. So indignant is Mr Musk at what he calls this backroom deal that he is looking at the possibility of buying Kistler to get his hands on the NASA contract, which he believes he can fulfil at a much lower cost. If Americas spirit of free enterprise can be harnessed to exploring space while also relieving the burden on taxpayers of NASAs extravagance, so much the better. [John Robb's Weblog]