The thing I love about NASA is that if something doesn’t work or doesn’t exist, THEY BUILD A NEW THING, on a relatively small budget
and then they don’t bogart the technology with copyright stuff
NASA’s inventions absolutely are protected by patents (they have thousands), but they’re pretty generous about licensing cool stuff out to other companies and organizations.
I think the real strength NASA has is that it invents things that aren’t strictly “necessary.” Engineers in a lot of fields are constrained by “we need to makes something immediately useful and marketable.” NASA engineers get opportunities to design things that don’t always have obvious “we can sell 20 million units by next year” applications, and thus get to think further out of the box.
Also, frankly, I’d want to fund NASA even if it were completely useless, because with all the useless things our government spends money on, at least this one is awesome.
(Source: pennyfournasa, via theragnarokd)