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Radish says

It's interesting that Chu lists Bell Labs as a major player in the Manhattan Project. It's the first time I've ever seen anyone do that. Doubtless he thinks invoking the name Bell Labs conjures up warm-and-fuzzies. Usually, the feds use the Moon Landing when they want warm-and-fuzzies for some new federal project. That's probably no good anymore since SpaceX has shown that private industry does space faster, cheaper, and better than the feds ever did.

Previously, you had a lot of people saying: sure, the feds did a big space program, but private industry could have done it better and cheaper. But one could always counter with: no, it couldn't, only the feds could have pulled it off. That counter-argument is no good anymore, now that someone has actually, you know, done it successfully.

Sputnik 1: unmanned low earth orbit, 1957

SpaceX Dragon: unmanned low earth orbit, 2010

NASA Moon landing, 1969

SpaceX manned space flight, not yet.

SpaceX is impressive, but it will be a few years, maybe decades, before you can say "private industry does space faster, cheaper, and better than the feds ever did" and be taken seriously.
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