Does NASAs investment in private space validate competitions like the Google Lunar X PRIZE?
Peter Diamandis: I think so. Contracting with entrepreneurial companies and focusing on core technology is going to be critical to NASA being able to achieve its goals more flexibly, more reliably and much more cheaply. I think we’re going to see incentivized competitions used as a tool to try and get new players and new approaches to areas that are difficult, that we don’t know how to solve. Our goal is constantly to try and stimulate the formation of new companies and new approaches that might normally be considered too risky for government programs. Incentivized competition can take that risk because you only pay the winner, you don’t pay the multiple attempts that fail. PM: The big question after the budget was released seems to be whether this marks the end of human space flight beyond low Earth orbit. Do you think that’s so? PD: It’s not over at all. It’s just beginning. I have no question that what this is going to do is stimulate a significant amount of investment by private in