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Policy

Faster-Better-Cheaper Anyone?

By Keith Cowing
August 11, 2015
Filed under
Faster-Better-Cheaper Anyone?

Lost in space? Nasa under pressure, BBC
“The most recent rover mission to Mars, Curiosity, landed successfully three years ago and has performed admirably. But the mission was around a billion over budget and three years late. These events were monitored by former Nasa scientist Keith Cowing in his blog Nasa Watch. “As upset as Nasa proclaims to be when these overruns happen, they just go off and do another one. It is an ongoing chronic issue with Nasa,” he told BBC News. “Nasa’s financial management system is still a mess. After doing Nasa Watch for 20 years it is almost like I have a key on my keyboard that I press and it says: ‘Nasa doesn’t understand what things cost’.”
So could it be time for Nasa to rethink the “faster, better, cheaper” plan? “Dan Goldin was prophetic,” says Mr Cowing. “But the way his idea was put into practice was flawed and inconsistent and insincere,” he says. “It’s like having the archetypical pictures of the little mammals running around as the dinosaurs are dying. There is always the seed of the next wave of doing things that emerges from the current way of doing things.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.