Walking Away From What NASA Does

NASA Internal Email from Associate Administrator Rex Geveden Re: Mission Focus Review

"At the Strategic Management Council held Aug 23, I announced the formation of a small team to conduct a Mission Focus Review (MFR) to look broadly across the Agency to identify resources that can be redeployed to more directly support our missions. As a point of philosophy, this is not another exercise about doing more with less, although I am interested in operational efficiencies. Rather, this is an exercise about doing less--about literally no longer doing those things that do not contribute to our missions."

Editor's note: This reminds me of a line from Monty Python. How Sad. As NASA starts down the path toward turning 50 it now thinks of things it can no longer do. And what do we say to those who look up to NASA? "Nevermind"? "Go away"? This is unacceptable. This is Launch Complex 34 mentality (image above).

The prime reason that Geveden sends out such an email? Lack of imagination - on his part - and on the part of the agency. This is not budgetary pragmatism, rather, it is managerial and institutional laziness and lack of imagination.

NASA is stuck in a rut. It went from zero to the moon in a decade - more than a generation ago. Flash forward: entire companies - and agencies - can be run via a little gizmo in your pocket - and the damn thing is filled with NASA spinoffs. Yet NASA can't adjust to the times - and utilize the very same technology it helped create to become more efficient - and relevant? And now it will take longer to go back to the moon than it did to go there in the first place?

Something is broken at NASA.

Editor's update: There is a "hit list" of sorts with items that Geveden is looking to cut with 80-90 or so items on it. This process uses a system of "leveraging points" to determine the value - or lack thereof - of things under consideration for deletion.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 6, 2006 1:05 PM.

Looking Over Opportunity's Shoulder was the previous entry in this blog.

White House Issues New Space Policy Document is the next entry in this blog.

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