Quote Originally Posted by sanderx1 View Post
1) they did it for approximately the money NASA spends on documentation for manned launches - they also did it in a short timeframe and arguably using an alternative approach to what NASA is likely to have used. They also are fairly close to having the result be commercially exploited via Virgin Galactic, something NASA has often struggled with.
2) strictly speaking, NASA doesn't fund anything, Congress funds NASA to perform aerospace R&D, often being very specific about how the money is to be spent ... but even so, most of the science used in this cases came not from NASA, but ballistic and sounding missile research and need not have come from USA at all.
3) I agree - not really ;-)

Starchaser in UK or even Armadillo aerospace are much closer to a true startup model ... and notably neither has really flown yet.
Well, given that half of Scaled Composites has already gone AWOL to go work on the Tesla Roadster project - I suspect that Virgin Galactic may be on hold...

Maybe they'll be back, maybe not. The first couple hundred zillionaires who want to partake in sub-orbital space travel will likely fork over 8 figures for the privilege. After that, it will lose its cachet and that will be the end of that.