Bruce Pittman knows what a paradigm shift looks and feels like from the inside out, something he's refined over the course of his 30-year career.
His expertise comes in handy when his organization serves as a link between the public and private sectors. Much of Pittman's role today is helping to bridge the gap between the traditional aerospace business practices and the new entrepreneurial approaches of companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic.
“We're battling to go back to a model that is almost 100 years old. Since Apollo, we've been dealing with a government-led and industry-supported model, although prior to that the model we used was based on an industry-led and government-supported model—just the reverse—one that was first introduced by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1915,” says Pittman. “The NACA helped lay the foundation for our aerospace dominance over the last 70 years.
“we've gotten away from the NACA model and we need at least part of the organization to go back to it. If you let the government go off by itself with no industry investment It's like a ship with no rudder. Every time the politics of the situation changes there's really nothing to provide continuity and direction.
“So, we're hoping that with this new public-private partnership where companies have money invested of their own—they have some skin in the game—we can have ...