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Something That Gene Kranz Got Right

"We became our own customers."

I don't understand why he doesn't see that that's exactly the problem with ESAS.

[Update in the afternoon--sorry, I've been housepainting again, in a race against the approaching summer, when it will be too blasted hot in southern Florida for such things]

I recall that Max Hunter said something very similar, I would guess about twenty years ago at a small workshop on launch vehicle design issues that I attended. He said that the big difference between NACA and NASA was that the former saw industry as its customer, whereas NASA saw it as (at best) a supplier. This was a consequence of going from a pure R&D agency to one with an operational mission (put a man on the moon). It has never recovered.


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J. Craig Beasley wrote:

I'd sure love to see a more expanded quote of Mr. Krantz's words. Not that I entirely, or even substantially, disagree with the sentiment, but I can see how this small quote could be out of context.

Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:

NASA today thinks that it can do it all with the contractors just being production guys. The problem with this is that the machine shops and the assets that MSFC had up to the early 90's was wiped out by Dan Goldin's rein at the agency. Also, even back in the 60's NASA could not do everything or even most things on their own. NASA even had a program to bring in industry experts for limited tours to help to solve critical problems. The Germans were great in this regard with no ego of ownership.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on May 15, 2008 9:38 AM.

Why Blacks Should Be Skeptical was the previous entry in this blog.

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