Columbia Space Shuttle Mission Simulation Paper

3065 words 13 pages
Columbia Space Shuttle Simulation
(LINDA HAM) 1. How would you characterize the culture of NASA? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
NASA was created in 1958 to give the United States of America a position in the “space race” after the Soviet Union launched the satellite “Sputnik” into orbit. The goal of NASA was to put a man into orbit before any other country and shortly after that was completed, the new goal was to put a man on the moon. NASA gained recognition from all over the world for it’s success in space exploration but soon, the pressure from the government caused changes would lead to major problems. Culture can be defined as, “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization.” During the
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Hence the circumstance is fully known and is considered a tolerable threat to the conduct of a Shuttle mission.” NASA treated foam strikes as a maintenance issue and they believed that there was nothing they could do to resolve it. It was something the organization couldn’t control from occurring. In the Columba Mission they had stated that they had previously landed shuttles that had big chunks missing from them so they believed they could do it again no problem. Studying the causes of the debris and foam strikes would be extremely time consuming and costly for NASA and it would delay their schedule. The major problem as to why NASA ultimately treated foam strikes as accepted risk is because no matter how many changes engineers have made to the design and the application of the foam, the problem has still not been resolved. Foam still continues to fall from the shuttle and it continues to impact the orbiter. Even though almost every flight has debris/foam shedding problems, if the flight was successful, NASA felt like they had nothing to worry about. Therefore, managers and engineers came to the conclusion that foam shedding was inevitable. 3. How did the history of the Space Shuttle Program shape people’s behavior during the first 8 days of the mission?
The history of the space shuttle program shaped people’s behavior during the


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