Government Monopoly vs. Private Sector Competition

The article linked below illustrates how the cost of spaceflight has dropped since the private sector introduced competition in this sector of human endeavors. Whether measured in dollars per kilogram put into orbit or by the cost of putting a person into space (and hopefully bringing them back again), the cost was relatively stagnant for many years. Indeed, major aerospace corporations and their subcontractors competed against each other for government contracts, but the governments were calling the shots, managing system integration, and micromanaging parts of the rest of the enterprise. That changed when the private sector began building its own technical systems (e.g., reusable rocket boosters) to move people and payloads into space.

Read the article for a quick overview of how the private sector was able to bend the cost curve downward. Food for thought as we consider the value and cost of government dominance in other areas of the US economy.

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