Lt. Col. Dan Ward (USAF) has written an article on Lessons Defense Could Learn From NASA (specifically, the Faster, Better, Cheaper missions of he Goldin era).

NASA could also learn some lessons from itself.

The Faster, Better, Cheaper era is long gone. FBC became a scapegoat after a few mission failures. The failure rate was not out of line with more expensive missions, but FBC was targeted by attention-seeking critics and more expensive, rival programs. At the same time, NASA Adminstrator Dan Goldin demonstrated a stunning lack of courage by throwing FBC under the bus. The result is expensive budget busters such as the James Webb Space Telescope and Mars Science Laboratory.

The FBC name is long gone, but small, cheap, highly effective missions are poised to make a comeback through new technologies such as interplanetary CubeSats. Let’s hope they get the support they deserve this time.

Written by Astro1 on June 7th, 2013 , Space Policy and Management

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