Cargo Rocket Explosion: A Setback, But Not Necessarily a Gamechanger for NASA

Cargo Rocket Explosion: A Setback, But Not Necessarily a Gamechanger for NASA

NASA's shift to leasing services rather than owning its own rockets as part of its human-spaceflight program has been "a bold move and certainly risky in some ways – primarily because you're changing the paradigm," says Marco Caceres, senior space analyst and director of space studies for the Teal Group Corp., an aerospace-research firm based in Fairfax., Va.

The move has been driven in no small part by an agency asked to do more than either presidents or Congress were willing to pay for, especially when thinking about eventual replacements for the space shuttles.

Tighter budgets, cost overruns, and the agency's reputation for overestimating the amount of money the space shuttles would save in operating costs because they were reusable didn't help, Mr. Caceres suggests.

Tags Antares, Launch Failure, NK-33, Orbital ATK Media Outlet: The Christian Science Monitor Featured Analyst Marco A. Caceres

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