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Elon Musk's Mission to Mars


Stashed in: Politics!, The Universe, Awesome, Military!, America!, economics, Mars!, @elonmusk, Space!, Mars Humans

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Where else are there inefficiencies?

Musk: There’s this tendency of big aerospace companies to outsource everything. That’s been trendy in lots of industries, but aerospace has done it to a ridiculous degree. They outsource to subcontractors, and then the subcontractors outsource to sub-subcontractors, and so on. You have to go four or five layers down to find somebody actually doing something useful—actually cutting metal, shaping atoms. Every level above that tacks on profit—it’s overhead to the fifth power.

Anderson: That sort of bureaucracy must also play into the bidding process.

Musk: It’s infuriating. The Pentagon’s preferred approach is to do long-term, “sole-source” contracts—which means to lock up the entire business for one company! We’ve been trying to bid on the primary Air Force launch contract, but it’s nearly impossible, because United Launch Alliance, co-owned by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, currently has an exclusive contract with the Air Force for satellite launch. It’s totally inappropriate.

Anderson: Wow, really?

Musk: Even though we would save the taxpayers at least a billion dollars a year—and that’s a conservative estimate.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin but not Halliburton? They must be slipping.

I wonder if the military industrial complex is ripe for disruption.

Yes, by predator drones...oh wait?

It'll be disrupted by whomever chairs this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_Committee_on_Armed_Services

Robert Gates tried to disrupt it; if he can't, who can?

It will have to wait till someone from GenX is in that office.

You're right; when the next generation passes away, the majority voting bloc, in my opinion, will be anti-war. They will remember Iraq and Afghanistan, the vets who didn't come home, the vets who came home and received poor/terrible treatment (e.g. Walter Reed), and the nasty long-term spending crisis it caused.

They won't forget.

And if you're anti-war, you're more likely to support "safe" (as in Safe for Americans) operations like Drone strikes and Special Operations forces, rather than Nuclear subs, Super Aircraft carriers that cost $1m/day to operate, and new F-35 fighter jets for a war that is rarely fought.

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