Garrett Reisman is someone with experience in two radically different space organizations. At NASA, he flew on three space shuttles across two trips to the International Space Station, one in 2008 (where Reisman arrived and returned on different shuttles) and one in 2010. In 2011 he joined SpaceX, where he helped develop the human-carrying Crew Dragon capsule that flew on the Inspiration4 mission.
Speaking with Inverse, Reisman explains that the two organizations are worlds apart when it comes to getting things done — where SpaceX likes to move fast and adjust on the go, NASA is far more cautious in its decision-making.
“[At SpaceX] we would make a decision in a single meeting that would take years to reach the same decision point at NASA,” he says.
This cultural difference is perhaps best exemplified by Reisman’s experience of trying to get a change to the space shuttle. NASA had a shuttle cockpit avionics upgrade program to tweak the vehicle’s information displays — but even then, the team was extremely limited.