Thursday, October 27, 2011

Space Shuttle: Economic Destruction or Potential?

With the last space shuttle being taken apart, more and more NASA employees are being laid off due to the lack of the Space Transportation System, or STS, program.The loss of over 3000 highly-educated workers, not including the construction workers who design and build the facilities, now being laid off, there is an ever expanding group of the educated unemployed. Even though NASA's STS program is now in its dying breaths, the United States is still the world's leading nation in space technology. This is because companies like Direct TV, Dish Network, Sirius Satellite Radio, AT&T, and other communication companies use space systems on a daily basis. Companies that use these technologies, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Space X, and others are hiring  these unemployed NASA workers to help design the future Space Launch Systems. One of the closest manned launch systems currently is the Falcon-9/Dragon program. The Falcon-9 and the Dragon program both were designed by ex-NASA workers. While NASA is shrinking due to less government funding, the private space industry is growing and space tourism is closer than we think.


mrkennedy said...

A non government space agency that operates purly on a company's needs could use all of these workers couldn't they? I think that would be a good long term investment.

Ian Marks said...

Mr.K, while the motive is good, the hypothetical application of yours is brittle. If (most or all) the workers at NASA went to private industries, then there would be no American government-funded space program, and politicians will not allow that in order to compete (and in some ways dominate) other countries/conglomerates such as the European Union, Russia and South America