From Jim Garrettson, Executive Mosaic President & Founder
The GovCon sector and all stakeholders in the country’s space program trained their eyes and ears on the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday, where NASA leaders announced the companies that will help the agency move forward on its drive to send U.S. astronauts without reliance on foreign help.
Charles Bolden, NASA administrator and a former astronaut himself, told the world that Boeing and SpaceX are the winners of much-anticipated contracts to continue their work on space vehicles that would transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
NASA has set a target of 2017 to start the flights and end its reliance on Russia for transportation into space through the Commercial Crew Program.
Under CCP, Boeing will take in up to $4.2 billion in contract funds for its work on the CST-100 and Elon Musk’s SpaceX startup could receive up to $2.6 billion for the Dragon spacecraft.
Bolden identified this public-private partnership as a step to help “more people in America… realize the dream of leaving Earth for even a short time to float above our planet Earth in microgravity and to see the stars and the majestic tapestry of the Milky Way unobstructed by the artificial lights and dust of our atmosphere.”
“Turning over low-Earth orbit transportation to private industry will also allow NASA to focus on an even more ambitious mission – sending humans to Mars.”
Government leaders such as Bolden and executives at GovCon firms have sought to achieve closer collaboration between the public and private sectors with the goal to drive innovation for the country through both new technologies and ways of doing business.
Todd Grams, a longtime leader from the VA and IRS, joined Deloitte in April of this year in part to continue his work to help agencies increase their use of risk management practices.
Grams told our staff in a July conversation that agencies should look to enterprise risk management practices as complementary tools for their financial and performance management functions.
“Generally speaking, agencies have more mature systems developed in financial and performance management,” Grams said.
“By adding risk management, you help the agency identify the potential for loss or harm, or the diminished opportunity for gain, that can adversely affect the achievement of an organization’s mission.”
Ed Morche, head of Level 3’s government business, said in a May interview with ExecutiveBiz that companies like his seek to help agencies understand that many new technologies already in existence are available to them.
”You don’t have to reinvent the wheel — private industry has already developed advanced security technologies being used successfully by banks, financial exchanges and research institutions.
“We don’t have to rebuild things over and over again.”