Saturday, September 20, 2003

The Non-Innovator's Dilemma

"The Gehman Report on the Columbia disaster was recently released, and it had appropriately harsh criticism of NASA's management, and in particular, its 'culture.' Most observers lauded the report, but there have been a few dissenters (including yours truly, at least as far as its prescription for the future of space transportation)."

[...]

"NASA is in a box, and it's not one caused by the Shuttle design per se, and it's one that they won't escape by developing an Orbital Space Plane (OSP), or any new vehicle. The agency is trapped by all-too-paltry ambition and vision, on the part of policy makers, for our nation's future in space."

[...]

"Much of NASA's 'culture' problem is in fact a symptom rather than a cause -- a symptom of too many years of believing that all wisdom about things space resides at the agency, a belief nurtured by an often fawning and ignorant press and a political establishment that values pork over progress. It's not a problem that NASA can solve, in and of itself. It will require a much broader discussion of national space policy, far beyond NASA's role."

[...]

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