Monday, March 4, 2013

Creating a Legacy, Breaking New Ground

It was the dawn of commercial space flight
by Dick F.

In the late 1980s, at the dawn of commercial space flight services, I worked for Martin Marietta Commercial Titan, Inc.,"a company within a company." This was an exciting period for a contracts guy like me. My job was to apply my familiarity with the Federal Acquisition Regulation to the creation of new commercial contract arrangements with both private-sector and Government customers. While the business volume manager for the Mars Observer launch services proposal, I collaborated with my NASA counterpart in breaking entirely new ground. We found ways to cobble together a contract which had no precedent in Government programs. It took us nearly a year, but we brought it in, just in time for launch. I used this experience to write and present a paper at the national 1989 Acquisition Research Symposium. Today, as I see the new generation of commercial space enterprises literally taking off, I take great pride in the legacy we created.