Teaching Rocket Science 101

NASA JSC Center Director's Systems Engineering Forum Planned Aug. 21

"A successful Constellation Program at NASA will require the application of superb system engineering competencies. Currently, we face unique system engineering challenges that must be addressed to effectively design a complex manned space vehicle, develop new sub-systems and integrate existing elements that were designed for other missions."

Editor's note: In yesterday's ESMD media telecon, Jeff Hanley kept repeating how NASA folks need to have a certain engineering culture instilled in them - implying (not too subtly) that such a culture is not already in place. NASA once had ths collective expertise, right? Why is NASA teaching all of this engineering stuff for Ares and Constellation employees now - at a time when these people are all in the middle of actual design reviews? Its great to give folks a refresher, but it often seems as if NASA feels that it needs to teach its own people how to do their jobs - skills they should already have.

Shouldn't this have been done before design process even started? Moreover, if the people who have been given these design tasks need this sort of remedial training, isn't this an indication that NASA should have been looking elsewhere - perhaps the private sector - where such skills still exist?

Question for Mike Griffin: Isn't there a certain folly inherent in marching into a task that rivals Apollo when you have a workforce that you know is not totally equipped to handle that challenge?

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 12, 2008 11:23 AM.

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