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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ bids to build US military rockets could reshape national security

By Quartz

The Air Force has been terrible at buying rockets. The current contract battle could shape American national security— and the future of private space companiesRead full story


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  • This is good. We need new players from the private market to help lead America forward. This could save tax payer money while strenghtening and raising our standards.

  • That’s just what America needs... more rockets... how about investing in a 🚀 Man instead? How about taking those resources to make clean energy? How about investing in progress and education instead of war? It’s about time we got our heads out of our collective ass.

  • Healthy competition is a good thing, and I'm glad to see the entrepreneurial world having such an impact on space exploration. Whether we like it or not, space exploration is the future. We need both the most bang for our buck, and also the best solutions our generation can create.

  • One of the several interesting turns to note here: Elon Musk basically had to kick in the door to get the chance to build rockets for the US military. SpaceX went on to prove the value of new players as innovators in the global competition to launch satellites. Now his company, once shunned, has a new, added utility for the Air Force: A way to force traditional contractors to do things in better, smarter ways (even if not always cheaper).

  • For all the Metal Gear Solid fans out there, this is how private armies get started.

  • Ahh the age of Stark/Musk/Bezos Industries is here, I can smell the napalm in the air.

  • Space shouldn’t be privatized. It’s too important with material security implications. Our budget during the space race was pegged at nearly 5% of GDP and now it’s a fraction of a percent. Not good enough, especially when there’s so much waste elsewhere. In any case, collaboration with the private sector to accelerate development can be welcomed. But on absolute terms we are underinvested as a nation.

  • What I think people want to hear is that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are in a bid to end poverty and world hunger. Although, if the government is looking to reduce the cost of research and exploration I do not condemn them for it.

    This is an interesting test case for shifting United States resources. We should be asking where the money saved will go.

  • “Blue, which originally hoped to fly its New Glenn rocket for the first time next year, is now expecting a 2021 debut.”

    Odd takeaway: Did Blue Origin have to get approval from John Glenn’s family to use his surname on the new rocket? Perhaps it is just musing on my part, but if they’re using John Glenn’s name, and thereby his legendary space reputation, should his family not receive a cut for Glenn’s prominent name use?

  • The good news: we have competition in a highly critical technology to keep not only national security but communications and climate research infrastructure working.

    The bad news: government procurement is still screwed up...

  • With their long history of feeling so well with the government, Elon Musk and the SEC, Jeff Bezos and most government agencies including New York City, taxes... it is amazing that anyone would believe that this is going to go well.

  • Space exploration has always been a catalyst to massive technological advancements and innovation which have wide application across industry and society. Increasing competition to accelerate the advancement of this can only be a good thing. And yes getting to Mars is pretty important too!

  • Why not work on renewable energy? Or cars, planes, etc., that run on ethanol? Or long-range metal detectors for cops? Or reliable voting machines? You know, something other than a mass killing device??

  • That's the smell of huge piles of money set ablaze.

  • And, of course, speaking of the way in which our society allocates resources...!

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