Many in Congress and the aerospace industry think NASA is engaging in funny business when it comes to the future of space.
The space agency this week is taking a lot of heat for farming out a lot of post-Shuttle work to smaller commercial contractors, so that NASA can focus on Mars.
"I was against privatization in the Bush administration," Rep. David Wu of Oregon is quoted in the New York Times. "I am against privatization in the Obama administration."
Hoping to prove the skeptics wrong is Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX. "It's the right thing to do, but it's a tough one," Musk told me earlier this week at the company's Southern California headquarters.
SpaceX is located in a massive hangar once dedicated to building 747s. It's presence, while drawing the ire of some traditional players, also brings back an enterprising spirit to the birthplace of aerospace manufacturing.
Musk made his fortune creating and selling PayPal, plowing those profits into two companies, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors.