One comment

  • J Fincannon

    I think this is the right show that my comment pertains to.

    Bob says NASA does not do things for profit. This is generally correct, but commercial companies reimburse NASA for things. For instance, if a commercial company needs to use unique facilities at NASA, they will reimburse for the use. This would include upgrading the facilities. The company does not take away upgrades after they are finished with NASA and, most likely, the upgrades can be used by any other project or company. Profit in the business world is used to improve a company’s infrastructure, among other things. So, NASA, in that respect, does get some profit. The commercial companies also reimburse NASA for NASA’s time (i.e. paychecks) whether to operate test facilities or do engineering. Also, it seems that NASA may waive this for various reasons too. It is all negotiated at a high level.

    Another example of NASA getting “profit” has to do with patents. Why would NASA patent technology? They wish to license it or sell it to get money back. I do not know where the money goes (the NASA Center general fund, the US general fund and/or the NASA inventor?), but some chunk of money must come back to NASA (if the patent is lucky enough to be valuable).

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