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Liberating NASA

NEW YORK – Let me disclose my biases up front: I did not dream of going into space as a child. I took it for granted. My father was a (genuine) rocket scientist, and I figured that just as airplanes had become commonplace over the course of his life, space travel would become commonplace over the course of mine.

People first landed on the Moon while I was a teenager, and I turned to other pursuits – journalism, the Internet, startup companies. But then, decades later, I woke up and discovered that space travel was still reserved for a small corps of astronauts and cosmonauts, and a tiny group of wealthy space tourists – six so far. The space business was the preserve of a few governments, plus a number of large cost-plus contractors who lived in symbiosis with their government customers.