From an interesting article putting the point that the effect of government funding of NASA, ESA etc is zero or even negative
NASA is required by law to "..encourage to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space". Similarly, the leaders of the British National Space Centre (BNSC) state that their objective is to "..help industry maximise profitable space based business opportunities" . The European Space Agency (ESA), the Japanese space agency (NASDA) and other government space agencies have similar responsibilities.
It strikes me that it is unarguable that X-Prizes made to fund private space projects, most importantly putting under $1 billion into prizes for a commercial orbital shuttle system, would do far more to encourage space development than putting it into NASA & ESA. That being the case NASA & its employees, by taking such money & not using it to fund prizes, is in clear breach of the law. I do0n't know if the British National Space Centre in telling Parliament that they are acting to "help industry maximise profitable space based business opportunities" [last para]
is making a legal commitment, in which case they broke the law, or simply lying to Parliament.
Labels: Government parasitism, space, X-Prizes