This story reads more like a missive from the Soviet-era state news, rather than from a normal capitalist country. That’s because It’s about Big Government, rather than capitalism and the private sector.

NASA’s $349 million monument to its drift

GULFPORT, Miss. — In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space.

Then, NASA did something odd.

As soon as the work was done, it shut the tower down. The project was officially “mothballed” — closed up and left empty — without ever being used.

… The empty tower in Mississippi is evidence of a breakdown at NASA, which used to be a glorious symbol of what an American bureaucracy could achieve. In the Space Race days of the 1960s, the agency was given a clear, galvanizing mission: reach the moon within the decade. In less than seven, NASA got it done.

Now, NASA has become a symbol of something else: what happens to a big bureaucracy after its sense of mission starts to fade.

The similarity of the story to the fake news coming out of communist USSR is freakish:

Seven years ago, when the tower still seemed like a useful idea, the governor came to the groundbreaking. So did a congressman. Two senators. On a hot morning in August 2007, next to a canal full of alligators, somebody laid down AstroTurf and clean dirt over the sandy Mississippi soil. The dignitaries stood on the fake grass. They stuck gold-painted shovels into the fake earth.

They said they were starting one of the greatest journeys in human history. …

Nobody will be fired. Nothing will be learned. History will repeat itself, just like it is in Russia today.

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