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Re: Recent launch failures

 If you think things are bad re NASA now, wait a few months. Congress
has recently started the final work on approving money for NASA, and
they've decided that NASA, which has taken a cut every year for the
last six, can take a hit of nearly $1 billion. Most of the money is
to come out of the space science programs (where else?), so a lot of
very smart people are going to be seeing projects they've been working
very hard on for a long time go up in smoke. Not a good way to encourage
people to hang around......


On Sun, 1 Aug 1999, Dave Mullenix wrote:

> I received this from a mailing list dedicated to amateur built rockets. 
> Since we launch our satellites on rockets which have shown a tendency to
> blow up of late, this may be of interest to AMSAT-BB readers.
>       Subject: recent launch failures
>          Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 08:15:16 -0700
>          From: Stewart Cobb <stu@IntegriNautics.COM>
>      Reply-To: erps-list@LunaCity.com
>  Organization: IntegriNautics
>            To: erps-list@LunaCity.com
> Aviation Week's web site has several articles by longtime editor
> William B. Scott about the "crisis in aerospace".  Well worth
> reading.  The gist is that aerospace systems are too complicated
> to build and run without smart, talented, creative, motivated
> engineers.  In the past, such people were drawn to aerospace for
> the challenge.  Today they can find challenges elsewhere, and
> they're leaving the 1950's-style rigid, hierarchichal management
> policies of the old-line aeropacee companies for aerospace
> startups (ERPS) or non-aerospace (internet) careers.
> "Multiple failed space launches during the last year
> have triggered several technical and safety investigations
> into "processes" that affect quality, but the real,
> more-subtle causes may be found in how the aerospace
> industry handles its people, according to experts
> who have studied problematic programs."
> "Experience can mean the difference between a program's success
> and failure....  Managers and human resources departments should
> resist a "plug-and-play" philosophy that assumes like-credentials
> translate to equal abilities.  Aerospace has unintentionally rid
> itself of critical software engineers and programmers, for example,
> "and I don't think the companies even know they're gone,"
> said Michael C. Davis....  "They've [often] eliminated the really
> smart guy who's holding everything together, simply because he's
> making 20% more than the guy next to him. But they may have
> eliminated 40% of their overall software knowledge for a 20%
> savings," Davis said.  "That's been going on for 10 years.
> That's why rockets blow up." 
> http://www.aviationweek.com/aviation/aw63-66.htm
> ----
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