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Should NASA be completely privatized? Why or why not?

Would NASA's presence in the private sector increase its efficiency and would this help or harm the federal government?

  • Jan 3 2014: If what you're looking for is space exploration, privatization is the last thing you should be looking to do.

    Private groups work for a profit. Until asteroid mining and space tourism enter into effect, there won't be worn nickel to be made in space--and even then, NASA would end up doing very different work. Exploration for its own sake is a big money sink. Some things simply have to be done in the public sector if they're to be done at all.
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    Jan 3 2014: "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research."

    I have a hard time visualizing how a government run program could be privatized. Doesn't privatization mean that it's no longer required to be national, which NASA is...

    I think there's a need for both private and government institutions, NASA is a government one, Virgin Galactic for example is a private one.
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    Jan 3 2014: Not completely privatized, no.

    Pretty much as they're doing now, they should pass off to private enterprise those proven missions in which a likely profit margin can be seen. But speculative, higher risk ideas, like NASA's project to capture an asteroid, have no proven technology or immediate profit gain, and needs to be pursued in the public sector, as Nadav has said below.