Sunday, August 21, 2011

Commercial Space Caught in NASA Red Tape

Florida Today reports that commercial space is running into a NASA bureaucratic road block.

Contracts governed by the voluminous Federal Acquisition Regulations ... will divert limited resources from work on spacecraft by requiring the companies to hire armies of lawyers and accountants to track compliance with complex regulations.

And unlike a more streamlined alternative, NASA would call the shots on critical design decisions, potentially limiting the innovation needed to reduce costs and attract customers beyond NASA.

The basic problem is a legal interpretation of law that may require commercial space companies to comply with NASA bureaucratic practices if they wish to obtain contracts ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

NASA recently solicited feedback from the commercial space participants, which may affect future awards funding.

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