Witt: Privatization “Absolutely Required” to Progress in Space

Gear down. (Photo: Mark Greenberg)

Mojave Air and Space Port General Manager Stuart O. Witt is the general manger of the Mojave Air and Space Port is co-author of a nice op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle about NASA’s new direction:

The Obama administration, Congress, NASA and the private sector are finally voyaging toward a market-based space industry. Admittedly, the new policy’s vision is not bold enough nor its exploration schedule aggressive enough, but it does – as the Great One advised – “skate to where the puck is going, not to where it’s been.”

It dismantles a cost-plus quagmire that has left Americans traveling in space far less often, far less safely, at far greater expense and, most ironically, not so very far at all. Much must be done to maintain U.S. space leadership, but privatization is absolutely required.

In a world of declining revenues and budget-crushing entitlements, NASA as a sleepy jobs program for aging engineers is unsustainable. We understand that putting all our eggs into a newly woven basket of private space firms is taking a risk.

However, risk-taking has defined America’s space accomplishments. President Obama took a risk when he chose to fight the vested interests for this private-sector solution, and it would be mad to imagine a Republican-led House opposing it. Yet, in a “through the looking glass” moment, some GOP members are resuscitating socialized space as a high-tech pork delivery vehicle for loyal Southern states.

Read the full story.