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An inside look at the differences between life at NASA and SpaceX -

An inside look at the differences between life at NASA and SpaceX

When Elon Musk sets his sights on an industry, he does so with purpose and with the intention of completely turning said industry on its head. While most people are readily familiar with Musk's efforts at Tesla, the groundbreaking work being done by SpaceX, Musk's other company, has only recently started to attract attention from the mainstream.

To be sure, Elon Musk was bold for thinking that Tesla could revolutionize the auto industry. That said, Musk's plans to enter the aerospace industry with SpaceX and compete with and work alongside NASA wasn't just bold, it was downright crazy. And yet, both of Musk's ventures continue to amass greater success with each passing year.

Earlier this month, we stumbled across a thread on Quora asking if it's better for engineers to work at NASA or SpaceX. Of course, the question itself was a bit misleading because it's not as if one company is superior to the other. Without question, some of the smartest minds on the planet can be found at both. Still, there are a number of interesting differences between the work environment at NASA and SpaceX that are worth highlighting.

Tackling this issue, an engineer named Andre Lavoie -- who has spent significant time at both companies -- details a number of fascinating differences between life at NASA and SpaceX.

Not surprisingly, the fact that NASA is a government agency, as opposed to a private company like SpaceX, impacts the work environment in both positive and negative ways. While Lavoie points out that the work-life balance at NASA is a positive, the work there can sometimes be encumbered by "an institutional aversion to risk" and predictably slow-moving bureaucracy.

Projects can start with much fanfare and then be cancelled. Repeatedly. Maybe this is because there are many worthy things that should be studied but funds are always limited. It can be rewarding because you have more opportunity to really dig in and understand things and learn. Your job is very secure, even when budgets get cut or you yourself don't succeed.

As for life at SpaceX, the work environment there, not surprisingly sounds awfully similar to a forward-thinking start-up, albeit on steroids.

In contrast, Space X is a product company. It designs, builds, sells and launches rockets. Your job there is to make that happen no matter what. Nobody gives up. Failure is acceptable, to a point. Risk taking is expected, but stupidity and recklessness is punished unceremoniously. You just get fired. There is no job security. Schedule is critical because as a privately funded company if it fails to succeed before the money runs out then it's game over. The sense of urgency is huge. At Space X you can have plenty of responsibility even if you have little experience. This is great if you are energetic, resourceful and work obsessively. If not you will probably fall behind and then your days will be numbered.

Lavoie's full answer, along with the full thread is well worth digesting in its entirety. You can check it out over here.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:00:20 -0500

Google Fiber Is Looking To Grow; And Your City Could Be Next -

Google Fiber Is Looking To Grow; And Your City Could Be NextGoogle Fiber is looking to provide recently purchased internet service "Webpass" to residents of Seattle.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:02:00 -0500

Sanders Supporters Are Taking Over The Democratic Party -

Sanders Supporters Are Taking Over The Democratic PartyThe progressive senator's most loyal supporters appear to have a bold agenda for the DNC during the Trump administration.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:44:16 -0500

T-Mobile is having a huge sale on the best Android phones -

T-Mobile is having a huge sale on the best Android phones

With the Galaxy S8 reveal just around the corner, it's about the right time for carriers to start burning off inventory of this generation's handset. It looks like T-Mobile is getting the party started, with blowout sales on the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge and LG V20.

All three of those handsets are available for $15 per month, assuming you already have a T-Mobile Simple Choice or T-Mobile One plan. Your payments run for 24 months, which brings the total cost of any of those phones to $360, which is a huge discount, given that they normally retail for $700 a pop.

There's no real catch here, other than that you're going to be tied to T-Mobile for the next two years. That's not really such a bad thing, considering the unlimited data plans the company is currently offering, and the fact that T-Mobile's network is basically on par with Verizon these days.

The sale on all three devices makes sense given that MWC is just around the corner. At that show, we're expecting to see the new LG G6, and probably some kind of details on the Galaxy S8. With the latter phone in particular there's going to be big upgrades to the current generation, so it makes sense for T-Mobile to burn off as much stock as it can right now. Plus, by only offering the discount as a two-year payment program rather than cash upfront, it should help tie customers onto its network.

Just bear in mind as you go into a store that some T-Mobile stores have been caught out cramming extra services, like phone insurance or Jump On Demand onto bills without permission. Of course, you can order the upgrade online, which is probably the easiest and most legally binding way of getting in on the discount.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:28:31 -0500

Police release audio of suspect in Indiana girls' deaths -

Police release audio of suspect in Indiana girls' deathsDELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A teenage girl turned her cellphone on and recorded a man saying "down the hill" before she and a friend were killed along a northern Indiana hiking trail last week, authorities said Wednesday.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:25:39 -0500



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