Friday, October 07, 2005

NASA Website Analysis: I'm not sold.

Because of the Tompkins book, it’s hard to read anything about NASA without thinking about its failures. I find myself looking at each article through a cynical lens, finding it difficult to believe all this “teamwork” talk. Do employees really nominate each other for jobs well done? Is every employee really held to a standard of aligning their goals with the mission of NASA? …Or is NASA just desperate to rebuild its credibility in the public’s eye? Perhaps I would have found the website to be warm and fuzzy before this class, but the culture seems somewhat artificial to me right now.

After reading NASA’s history of the Challenger, all I could think was “what???” Although the passages are extremely detailed (down to the second) of Challenger’s take-off, the language was highly technical…it’s definitely not written for the average Joe. The line warranted a second glance: “cause of explosion was determined to be an O-ring failure in right SRB.” I think our class knows it was a lot more than just an O-ring mishap.

The information provided for Columbia was similar to that of Challenger. A lot of technical information was provided about the accident, but no satisfying information about the causes. Some of it is very nice, as it pays homage to the lives lost....but it's a little too hard for me to find the dirt I'm looking for. I want to see them take responsibility, but it's just not there.