The scientific cycle almost always ends in privatization.
As Americans, nay, as humans, we could not help but feel a twinge of sadness when a private spacecraft launched from Florida last week. Dragon, as the SpaceX craft is named, is the start of a new era in space.
The transition from publicly funded science to private enterprise is nothing new. The Internet started as a Defense Department project. Christopher Columbus set sail with support from Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Once there was money to be made, public innovation gave way to private.