Andy Pasztor

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Andy Pasztor is a journalist with the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of the 1995 book "When the Pentagon was for Sale: Inside America's Biggest Defense Scandal."

Journalism controversies[edit]

Burt Rutan[edit]

On February 24, 2010, Andy Pasztor wrote an article titled "Space Pioneer Burt Rutan Blasts New NASA Plan," claiming that Burt Rutan had written a letter to Congress sharply criticizing President Obama's plans to turn over portions of its human spaceflight program to commercial providers.[1] A couple days later Burt Rutan released a statement saying that "the WSJ chose to cherry-pick and misquote my comments to Cong Wolf." [2]


Immediately following SpaceX's inaugural launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, Andy Pasztor wrote in a WSJ article titled "SpaceX Illustrates Privatization Risk" on June 7, 2010 alleging that SpaceX claimed it would require $1 billion to build a launch escape system for its rocket, and that the company would likely require future assistance from US taxpayers.[3] When asked about this, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responded saying:

"Andy Pasztor’s article in the Journal was, I’m sorry to say, rife with errors. He was off by a factor of ten on what it would cost SpaceX to develop a launch escape system. Also, under no circumstances would SpaceX be seeking a financing round from the taxpayers. That doesn’t make any sense." [4]

Despite that statement by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, subsequently in 2011 and 2012, SpaceX did receive additional funding from U.S. taxpayers through NASA. In May 2011, it was revealed in a Government Accountability Office report, "Commercial Launch Vehicles: NASA Taking Measures to Manage Delays and Risks" [5] that starting in November 2011 SpaceX had, in addition to its award of $278 million,[6] been awarded $118 million for additional COTS risk reduction milestones, bringing the company's total COTS award to $396 million. In April 2011, SpaceX was awarded $75 million [7] as a participant in NASA's CCDev2.[8] In August 2012, NASA announced that, as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integration Capability program, SpaceX was awarded $440 million.[9]


  1. ^ Pasztor, Andy. Space Pioneer Burt Rutan Blasts New NASA Plan", The Wall Street Journal, 24 February 2010
  2. ^ Rutan, Burt. Burt Rutan Issues Clarification on Wall Street Journal Remarks,, 26 February 2010
  3. ^ Pasztor, Andy. SpaceX Illustrates Privatization Risk, 7 June 2010
  4. ^ Loizos, Connie. Elon Musk Weighs in On WSJ Piece, and Future of SpaceX, 8 June 2010
  5. ^ GAO-11-692T
  6. ^ NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS)
  7. ^ NASA Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev) Round 2 Milestone Schedule [1]
  8. ^ NASA Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev) Round 2
  9. ^ NASA's Commercial Crew Program Progressing for Future of U.S. Human Spaceflight [2]