The ability of private rocket venture SpaceX to launch an unmanned version of its Dragon capsule into orbit, fly it around Earth a few times and bring it down in the Pacific Ocean for $800 million has some wondering why NASA can't be as efficient. NASA has spent nearly $10 billion in the last six years on its Ares I rocket and Orion capsule, virtually its own version of what SpaceX launched, and it has faced nothing but cost overruns and technical setbacks.

Related Summaries