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Thread: Discussion: Shuttle Program's Flaws Will Be ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    SUMMARY: Investigators working to determine the cause of the space shuttle Columbia disaster are expecting to reveal some serious problems with NASA's program that oversees shuttle safety. The investigation team interviewed 72 NASA employees and contractors over a period of months and learned there were serious gaps in the agency when it came to safety. Some inspections had been removed to cut costs; quality assurance staff weren't allowed to perform "spot checks"; and the agency was using hopelessly outdated testing equipment.

    Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Well, at least they still have bureaucracy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    A couple of things come to mind.

    Firstly, ARE they going to follow through with this and if so, actually clean up their collective acts?? As I mentioned elsewhere, This has been a problem since the Apollo Era. But is seems that it "just HAS to take a certain amount of tragedy" before people wake the blazes up! :angry: I just hope that when it comes to identifying the problem areas that they actually DO correct it. Wanting to go the Moon or Mars or whatever should never mean neglecting the task at hand... ensuring that the craft is "worthy" of that task, Politics be damned!

    It's not to say that we should just stop. No. I'm saying that NASA and the US government should not be putting themselves ahead of the people who willingly park their butts in the driver's seat. If this is the prevailing attitude then as far as I'm concerned, we do the memories of those of Apollo 1, Challenger, the Soviet Era Cosmonauts and now Columbia a great disservice!

    Nuff said B)

  4. #4
    I think if you took a poll at NASA, you would find that none of the employees feel that they are "perfect".

    Unfortunatly, NASA, like every govermental entity & large company, has its fare share of problems

    I was sitting here at my computer when I literaly heard Columbia explode.
    My heart sunk

    I have friends who live in Hemphill, & they had pecies of the Columbia falling all over there town.

    Let's not spend too much time pointing fingers.

    We should learn from our mistakes & keep our eyes focused fermly on the future.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I'm all for learning from mistakes and moving on, but it does kind of sound like there was some institutionalized bureaucracy going on at NASA where safety was being compromised for political reasons. When you hear that people would get fired if they revealing problems, you really get the impression there's something wrong.

  6. #6
    I guess I should add the fact that I think that "everybody" no matter who they are, should be held accountable for their actions.

    If it is found that there intentional neglect & or any illegal attempt cover up what is "Public Information", the person or persons should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law...

    I feel the Federal "Freedom of Information Act" & the Texas "Open Records Act" will allow a proper investigation to be carried out.

    If not by the proper authorities...

    Someone will find the truth...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Sometime ago, it was reported that the Russians could put a payload up for a cost that is significantly less than NASA. When Congress hears these things, they usually bring out their calculators and erasers. Budgets get cut and that's when the "managers" get involved and not the leaders.

    It's no wonder that NASA cuts budgets to get the Shuttle in orbit. It has to.

    As for the future, once leadership takes hold again and someone in the White House chucks a spear in the sand and announces a date and a goal, we will continue to spin in a bureaucracy that manages instead of being innovative. I would like history to repeat itself as with JFK. He said it, we did it. The moon inside of a decade. How about Mars or even a moon base in the same amount of time? Is it a realistic goal?

    What NASA has failed to produce is the record on the number of products and advancements in several fields as a result of the space program. Poor marketing.

    Hang in their folks, who knows, we may get some competition from the Chinese or the Japanese. Seems as though that is the only impetus for the US to get it's rear end in gear.

  8. #8
    Way to Go AirVic !

    I think you have hit a couple of nails right on the Head!

    I am in total agreement about the "Marketing" thing...

  9. #9
    goddardrocketry Guest
    Leadership is everything. Without it we sit in limbo as we have been for a while now. We don't have to do everything the most expensive way. The Russians have shown us that. Sometimes simple is better.

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