Why This NASA Astronaut Has Come ‘180 Degrees’ On Privatizing Space


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Retired NASA astronaut Col. Mike Mullane is only recently coming around to the idea of the privatization of space. “I thought it was nuts, and doomed to failure,” he told CNBC’s Bob Pisani at our recent Spark Disruptors’ conference.

Though Mullane wasn’t on board, he also wasn’t quite as outspoken as other astronauts were with their dislike for the idea (remember when Neil Armstrong made Elon Musk tear up on 60 Minutes?).

But, today, he tells Pisani he’s changed his stance completely, as Space X, Blue Origin, and startups galore doing compelling and sustainable, innovative work have made him a convert. “I’m so glad I’ve seen capitalism has been brought to bear in the lower-earth-orbit,” he tells Pisani.

Watch Pisani’s full keynote discussion with the delightful and compelling Mullan, and hear about his childhood playing with rockets in the New Mexico desert, here.

It’s “Disruptors 2020 Innovation Week” on Spark! Stay tuned this Holiday Week as we look to the future and highlight panels on Space, tech, and everything new featured at our recent Spark Disruptors conference. Blast out of 2020 and into a new and, hopefully, brighter year. See more clips on Sparknetwork.com.