NASA Releases Exploration Study

Report: Historical Exploration: Learning Lessons from the Past to Inform the Future

"This report examines a number of exploration campaigns that have taken place during the last 700 years, and considers them from a risk perspective. The explorations are those led by Christopher Columbus, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Franklin, Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Company of Scotland to Darien and the Apollo project undertaken by NASA. To provide a wider context for investigating the selected exploration campaigns, we seek ways of finding analogies at mission, programmatic and strategic levels and thereby to develop common themes. Ultimately, the purpose of the study is to understand how risk has shaped past explorations, in order to learn lessons for the future. From this, we begin to identify and develop tools for assessing strategic risk in future explorations."

Nasa studies failures as guide to success, The Guardian (formerly titled "Epic missions were flops, claims Nasa")

"By contrast, Apollo achieved its goal of putting men on the moon before the Russians, but the equipment used had no application for other projects. The programme cost 70bn in today's money. Nasa has since struggled to find a reason to put men into space; hence the interest of executives setting up the Constellation programme which will take astronauts back to the moon next decade and later to Mars. 'We presented our study to senior Nasa managers, including Jeff Hanley, head of the Constellation programme,' said Bedford. 'We made it clear we are risk analysts, not historians... We also made it clear that even failed expeditions can teach us something."

Editor's note: NASA has sent me a copy of the report - and the report is also posted online.

Prof Tim Bedford

Reaching for the stars in management science, Strathclyde University

"A visit to NASA took place on May 23 to explore possible research collaboration between Strathclyde University and NASA in the area of risk management and assessment. Professor Tim Bedford from the Department of Management Science, visited NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The visit was hosted by John Turner, the head of risk management on the new Constellation Project, a programme aimed at creating a new generation of spacecraft for human spaceflight."

NASA project, Strathclyde University

"Tim Bedford, John Quigley, Matthew Revie and Lesley Walls of Management Science have carried out a project for NASA on the risks of long term exploration ventures. Their study looks at historical explorations and finds the common risks at mission, program and strategic levels, in order to assess overall lessons about the limitations of risk assessment for such exploration ventures. Tim, Matthew and Lesley gave a final presentation to the Constellation Project Team at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, on 24 March."

Editor's note: Why hasn't NASA released this study? Why did NASA feel the need to go to a foreign country to have this study done? What were the metrics whereby missions and expeditions were graded? I have asked PAO for a copy of this report. Stay tuned.

One reader noted this line "Apollo achieved its goal of putting men on the moon before the Russians, but the equipment used had no application for other projects." and commented "...Except Skylab"

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 7, 2008 3:46 PM.

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