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I've worked in the space industry, and sadly, like in any tech industry, it is actually likely an incredibly intelligent kid would know more about the math and science of space technology than the vast majority of those in the industry. Sure, they wouldn't know the project-specific details, but those would be easy to get caught up on (for someone of that caliber). This is why the private space ventures are doing so well: they concentrate the real experts and cut away the bureaucracy. Also, keep in mind the space industry hasn't necessarily attracted the majority of the best and brightest for a while now; think of computers, biotech, and finance.

That said, lack of power in aforementioned bureaucracy could be a major issue.

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