SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket (collectively referred to as Starship) represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, with the ability to carry in excess of 100 metric tones to Earth orbit.
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“Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push boundaries of our scientific and technicial limits and then push farther.”
“Human space exploration helps to address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and the hisotry of our solar system.”
- NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Our team was tasked with researching and understanding the complex collaborative culture within NASA through the lens of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS).
Collaboration Goal between partnerships. Human Space Exploration.
A SWOT and STEEP Analysis of NASA and SPACEX's major partnership gives similarities already shared (highlighted). It also showcases: transparency across all companies involved, allowing for resource distribution, risk management, quality control, and budgeting.
As a result, through information sensitivity, it would enable quick decision making for a successful overall mission and Partnership trust.
NASA and SpaceX are two of the most influential companies in the space industry, intending to advance human space exploration to and beyond Mars. According to NASA's website, "people are compelled to explore the unknown, find new worlds, test the bounds of our scientific and technological limits, and then push farther" (NASA, n.d.). Pursuing this objective will aid Earth's human civilization in answering questions about our place in the universe and the solar system's evolution. NASA and SpaceX are currently focusing their long-term plans on Mars and the possibility of human life stretching beyond Earth.
To achieve this purpose, both of these American institutions must continually collaborate remain transparent with each other over the entire course of the big picture mission of human exploration to Mars, despite their vastly different internal work processes.
We believe NASA and SpaceX should exchange knowledge and resources, divide and conquer near-term goals, and be open about their disagreements in the spirit of transparency.
We'd want to focus on their disparities in their financial structure before moving on to their contrasts in internal work procedures. Every year, congress allocates a yearly budget to NASA, which is utilized to explore space as efficiently and economically as possible. SpaceX is structured differently since they need to generate revenue and, in the long run, profit in order to sustain their human space exploration missions.
NASA and SpaceX have vastly different internal work methods. NASA is a large bureaucratic organization with several levels of hierarchy that can be inefficient at times. NASA is also required to submit reports to Congress and the American public. NASA is accountable to the government, even though it is not under any financial constraint.
SpaceX is a young company with a lean management structure. SpaceX is built to provide value to customers while consuming the fewest resources possible. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, is a brilliant product architect and master engineer who believes in failing fast, often, and cheaply.
The outside designs of their spaceships, interior designs of their crew module, and the outfit design of their spacesuits all reflect this design-centered and engineering-focused philosophy. This internal work culture has transformed the space sector and helped them gain contracts from NASA and other international governments and enterprises.
If NASA and SpaceX can maintain their transparency, they have a chance to become the first country and private firm to land on Mars.