NASA is the most important and prestigious space agency of the world and in last 50 years has accomplished (for the entire mankind) dozens manned and robotic missions in space like ISS, Shuttle, the Mars probes or the UNEQUALIABLY Apollo moon missions!!!
Despite some mistakes, very high costs, long programs' timelines and lots of bureaucracy (typical of all public agencies in all countries of the world...) NASA can still accomplish very well its job but... can we imagine a new and better "NASA 2.0" or "SuperNASA"?
With its $17 billion annual budget (that's FOUR times the european ESA budget, or 35 times the China's annual budget for Space) NASA may look like a "giant" but, compared with great part of the biggest private companies of the world (that have annual revenue in the order of hundreds billion$$$ each) the NASA budget is smaller than a dwarf!
Thanks to the very large iPod and iPhone success Apple Computer, Inc. has over $18 billion CASH in its "pockets" they can use to BUY NOW (nearly) EVERYTHING available in the IT or non-IT market, so, why don't use a (small) "slice" of that money to buy the US Space Agency or start a new NASA?
Today, several (computers, web, software, airlines, hotels) billionaires (Elon Musk, Paul Allen, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Robert Bigelow) have already invested their money in new.space companies and business and (five weeks ago) I've suggested that (in this ghostNASA article) also to the two Yahoo! founders using the $4+ billion they may earn from a (possible) selling of their company to Microsoft.
Of course, also Microsoft (alone) might buy NASA or start a new.NASA just using 10% of the $44+ billion they want to spend to buy Yahoo! or (maybe) this (new and amazing) company could be started by a joint venture of big companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Sony, General Motors, Dreamworks, EADS-Astrium, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Intel, Boeing, Orbital, HP, Airbus, etc. ...if they'll decide to (quickly) buy NASA before Google, of course...
The basic logos used for the image published here are Copyright © Apple Inc. and NASA
Can you imagine how good this "new.NASA" will be and work, with its army of engineers and scientists, 50 years of experience and advanced infrastructures joined with some of the best, biggest and most advanced companies of the world and nearly unlimited funds, that may turn NASA (or a brand new space agency) into a a very efficient and fast working agency, able to accomplish incredible (and SCI-FI looking) things (rather than just remake a poor-looking Apollo project to land again on the moon in 2022...) and that also thanks to the (possible) cooperation of successful managers like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, scientists like Stephen Hawking and Carlo Rubbia (that proposed a brand new nuclear engine concept to cut the Earth to Mars travel to two months) and creative peoples like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg... personally, I think that, with a new NASA (and peoples like Gates, Jobs, etc.) WE'LL SEE "THE FUTURE" ... RIGHT NOW !!!
We will SOON see many, new and bigger Space Stations, orbital hotels, space travels for all, orbital gas stations, faster, better and richer Moon missions and lunar outposts, lunar and orbital (bigger and better) radio and optical telescopes (to find hundreds exoplanets) several amazing robotic missions on Mars and all Jupiter and Saturn moons, big and more advanced probes everywhere in the solar system, see the development of new and more powerful nuclear engines and the manned Mars missions design and hardware to start RIGHT NOW (with "beyond Mars" missions on track soon...) etc. ...and everything might happen much sooner if the new (private+public) space agency will cooperate (rather than compete) with ALL (democratic) countries and Space Agencies of the world, so, it will also helps/forces some "half-democratic" or "nearly-democratic" countries to become 100% democratic NOW ...if they want to be part of this big space project... :)
But, HOW these private companies should BUY and RUN a big Space Agency like NASA?
This "new.NASA" (or, maybe, a NASA+ESA agency) may born as a MIX of public agency AND private company with two different "sections", one built around the current NASA's management (and funded with governments money) to accomplish all government and military launches, project and research (including international programs like the ISS) and a second section (funded with a mix of government and private companies money) that may accomplish all other (manned, robotic, scientific, orbital, Lunar, Mars, Solar System and commercial) missions and the research about new materials, engines, vehicles, etc.
The second section must be run by private companies managers and a mix of NASA and external engineers and scientists that will be (or should be...) completely independent from any political influence, so, they'll accomplish all projects and missions always using the best, simplest, chepest, fastest to develop and most rational solution and hardware!
All the (too large and expensive) NASA lands (used for KSC and other NASA centers) will always remain an US federal property (just given for very long time to the new.NASA) while, the private companies' joint venture, will buy the NASA infrastructures, buildings, patents, test facilities, etc. (for a price that I evaluate around $5 billion) and use them to develop/accomplish all government/military and/or private/commercial/scientific funded and required projects and missions.
Of course, the new.NASA must be open and cooperate with all independent new.space companies like SpaceX, Bigelow, Xcor, etc. joint developing new and advanced engines, vehicles, rockets, architectures and concepts, buying their low cost hardware and (some times) helping (with venture capital funds and technical support) the new.space start-up companies to born and survive in their early years of life.
But, could politics (of all countries involved in the project) like, approve and support the new private/public funded Space Agengy? ...personally, I believe that they may like (or, at least, they should like) this idea since it can/will make their countries' taxpayers very happy, giving them the most advanced, interesting and exciting Space program possible, without put (or, not "too much") the governments' hands in their pockets... :)
Of course, I'm aware that my idea is much close to a dream than reality... however, if these companies want to do that (surely) they CAN, since they have enough money to start dozens new companies/agencies like NASA... so, if you like this idea (and want to help it come true) just TALK of it everytime and everywhere you can (on forums and blogs about Apple, Space, Computers, News, Economy, Investments, Technologies, etc.) to allow many peoples to know it and the "right-guys" (like those named here) to think about the giant advantages (for their companies, their countries and the entire mankind) that may come from the realization and existence of a bigger and better space agency!
you talk/discuss about this idea on forums, blogs, websites, magazines, newspapers
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