Columbia’s Final Mission

1020 words 5 pages
This paper about Columbia’s Final Mission Case.

Putting yourself in the shoes of the managers or engineers in the case (Ron Dittemore, Linda Ham, Don McCormack, Rodney Rocha, Pamela Madera, Calvin Schomburg), consider the following questions?

• What prior assumptions and beliefs shaped the way that you thought and behaved during the Columbia mission?
• What pressures affected your behavior? Where did these pressures originate?
• In what ways did the culture impact your actions?
• If you were in that person’s shoes during the Columbia mission, would you have behaved differently? Why or why not?

a) Rodney Rocha Rodney Rocha is a NASA engineer and co-chair of Debris Assessment Team (DTS). When possibility of wing damage
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However, soon after learning that Shuttle Program managers decided against additional imagery, DAT agreed not to seek additional information. This demonstrates poor efficiency of DAT manager for horizontal communication. Madera did not try to contact Mission Management team to deliver her group opinion for discussion or search for alternative solution. Decentralization of NASA units made it difficult to understand organization structure and lack of action instructions.
d) Calvin Schomburg Calvin Schomburg, NASA engineer, was an expert on Thermal Protection System. He discounted the risk of damage from debris by sending e-mail stating that debris is not a problem. However, Schomburg was not an expert on RCC panels, which suggest that he should seek an expert opinion before distribution of such an e-mail. During discussion with Rocha Schomburg denied possibility of severe damage and reluctance to make further investigation. Taking into consideration hierarchy at NASA he tried to avoid bringing bad news to the management and accept high risk by demonstrating previous successful flights. His actions can be described as seeking job security but in the long run these actions could cause failure.
e) Don McCormack Don McCormack, manager of Mission Evaluation Room (MER), was evaluating DAT findings about foam issue. He relied on DAT information and presented it to MMT. He


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