I was reading an editorial by Robert Zubrin on the Mars Society website yesterday, and although he waxes extremely dramatic in the article, one of the things he said gave me pause. Referring to the Falcon 9/Dragon launch last week, he said:
The SpaceX team…accomplished a feat previously reserved for major governments. They did it on a budget one-tenth the size and a schedule one-quarter the length of that assumed as necessary by conventional bureaucratic planners in America.
I can’t verify those “numbers” such as they are, but it did lead me to do a little bit of research on my own.