I don’t think there is any doubt that NASA is experiencing one of their most dramatic period of change in the history of the organization. To start, the Space Shuttle, a staple of the United States efforts in space has been virtually scrapped for all time. As of today, the country and NASA itself does not have a manned ship to put into space. It’s incredible that over 40 years after landing on the moon, things have turned so far into negative territory. Of course, funding is a major, major challenge as well.
When we started looking for ways for NASA and the space program to deal with their current crisis, I couldn’t help but think of the wine industry. Maybe that’s because I have a cheap wine club membership which shippped me wine yesterday, but the wine industry has certainly dealt with a crisis over the past two to three years. To start, the 2007 vintage in Napa Valley was historic. It was both amazing as well as, well huge. There was a lot of great wine made, probably too much though. The problem was that all that extra wine gave rise to discounters and pushed prices down-right at the time the economy was facing the biggest economic downturn of the past 80 years. So what has the wine industry done? They’ve focused on taking the middle man out of transactions by going directly to consumers. For NAPA, that means some more public education about what the organization has done and why creating more funding and research dollars is important.