Moreover, it’s not clear that private space initiatives are the answer to the problem. “Space exploration is not an immediate payback, fiscally or otherwise,” Ivins says. “It is a generational kind of investment. And the only group that can afford to make that kind of an investment is a government.”
This is not exclusive to NASA, it’s true of research in general.
Plus, for the benefit of geeks across the universe, Ivins explains why the Borg cube from Star Trek can maneuver just as well as any starfighter that Hollywood has ever dreamed up. “In space, they’re one and the same,” says Ivins.
This is probably the one bit of science that space-based science fiction gets pretty consistently wrong — that maneuvering a craft in space would be anything like a plane or even a submarine. Most of the time the engine exhaust only points to the rear, and the engines are firing even when traveling at constant speed. Which is wrong even before you get to the fancy maneuvering.