“Mission for NASA: Become the national Space Prize organization. Congress appropriates $2 billion a year, relatively trivial amounts; NASA sets up prize committees, stores up the money, and gives it away as prizes. It doesn’t fund anything, it doesn’t need large staffs, it needs some bright people to come up with prize objectives and definitions, judges to determine that the prize objectives have been met, and someone to sign the checks for winners. Nothing else.” Jerry Pournelle, h/t Instapundit.
Jerry Pournelle adds: Now some of the NASA centers may be worth preserving. JPL is one of them, and I am sure there are still some good facilities at Ames. The launch facility at Canaveral needs to be kept operational. It may even be that some NASA research should be funded directly. X Projects still make sense. But for the most part NASA should operate as NACA did, not as an operational agency.
Every government program has cash payouts.
Make the payouts competitive instead of crony capers.
Also h/t Instapundit: Rand Simberg: Shuttlyndra And Bipartisan Crony Capitalism.