NASA Needs To Stop Complaining and Adapt

NASA and Engineering Integrity, text of speech given by Mike Griffin at the Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium

"NASA cannot be effective as an organization if the decisions of its managers are judged by the space community to be generally lacking in either competence or fairness, and that is why such criticisms in Space News, The Orlando Sentinel, and elsewhere, especially the blogosphere, are deeply disconcerting. If it is not obvious that objective expertise underlies NASA decisions and actions, then the civil space program will grind to a halt in response to one searching examination after another by various other governmental entities which claim the right of agency oversight, and can make it stick. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to be able to explain how a decision was reached, why a particular technical approach was chosen, or why a contract was awarded to one bidder instead of another."

NASA chief: Criticism hurting space agency morale

"Unfounded criticism of America's next-generation moon rocket is hurting NASA morale but hasn't stopped progress on the craft, the space agency's administrator Michael Griffin said Tuesday. Griffin said critics in the media and on anonymous Internet blogs can "chip away" at the agency by questioning the motives and ethics of engineers designing the new rockets. Briefing charts used by NASA managers sometimes show up on Web sites without the proper context, he said, and opponents of the agency's plans to replace the space shuttle with two new rockets have wrongly accused NASA managers of incompetence and worse."

Editor's note: Point taken. There is no excuse for sloppy blogging/journalism, incorrect facts, not placing things into context. etc. That said, all I can say is poor NASA - stuck in the 20th Century. A decade ago there was only NASA Watch. Now there are hundreds of space blogs. Soon there will be thousands. Get used to it. NASA needs to adapt to the world that it exists in, Mike. The world is not going to wait for NASA to catch up. And with the collective, time-compressed, multitasking ADD exhibited by the younger, digital generation, this situation is only going to be compounded.

The private sector is adapting. Why can't NASA?

P.S. When the participants in a PDR make comments such as these about serious flaws in the process of designing the Ares rocket, the public has a right to know - as does the rest of the agency's workforce.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 21, 2008 8:11 PM.

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