Public and Private Collaboration in the Space Program

Michelle Stone Michelle Stone July 17, 2019

2 min read


Not even our nation’s greatest business-people and innovators go at it alone.  There’s a reason we emphasize teamwork from T-Ball to conference rooms. Working together allows for different perspectives, continuous feedback, and increased accountability, and it provides additional resources, equipment, and time. Ultimately, collaboration leads to better outcomes for all involved. 


Nowhere is this more true than at NASA, which regularly partners with public and private organizations striving to solve similar problems. NASA works with domestic and international partners, using both reimbursable and non-reimbursable agreements. Which depends on the types of goods and services being used. The basic idea, though, is always the same: NASA, and its partners, benefit from each other’s shared resources.


Reaching New Heights with Higher Learning




Collaboration makes way for higher learning, so there are few better partnerships for NASA than those with universities. NASA acknowledges the importance of universities in helping achieve their goals, even calling them a vital part of their team. By partnering with institutions like the University of Texas at Austin, NASA advances projects like advanced propulsion systems and programs in biomedical and aeronautical engineering. The agreement is beneficial for both parties. While NASA programs are bettered, students also receive the opportunity to work with some of the greatest minds in the industry.


It’s Just Business


NASA has an interesting relationship with Space-X – the business itself is a beneficiary of a series of commercial space incubation programs that NASA began over a decade ago. Now, NASA is a major customer of Space-X, and there aren’t any hard feelings. Instead, NASA encourages companies to work toward commercial space services, which NASA may purchase for their own needs. Early collaborations turn into good business relationships down the road, which benefits space exploration (as well as the economy). Space-X isn’t the only institution NASA has a relationship with. They’re working with Orbital ATK, Final Frontier Design, and United Launch Alliance too. The public and private sectors alike can benefit from these kinds of collaborative models.


To accomplish this work with the public and private sectors, NASA partners with a variety of field centers that give them the space needed to do their work. At places like the Johnson Space Center in Texas and Langley Research Center in Virginia, NASA works in support of any number of missions.


The Spirit of Collaboration


Organizations like NASA rely on a lot of people doing a lot of things. Their work with universities, outside companies, and field research centers is multifaceted and ever-changing. Couple that with the vast array of professional engineers, scientists, inventors, project managers, and endless other roles filled by NASA employees and their partners, and things get messy pretty quickly. NASA’s goals requires a massively powerful organizational system that allows for hugely collaborative projects around the world. Cloud-based software and support is the obvious solution for any NASA-sized ambitions.


Fusion 360 helps great minds achieve great results, and it easily scales for teams small and large. Whether you’re looking to work with someone down the road, or you’re looking to launch the next satellite into orbit around a celestial body, Fusion 360 may be just the thing you need to take things to infinity–and beyond!


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