|Title:||Faster, better, cheaper : low-cost innovation in the U. S. space program|
|Authors:||Howard E. McCurdy|
|Publisher:||Baltimore (United States) : The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001|
|Series:||New series in NASA history|
|ISBN / ISSN / EAN :||978-0-8018-6720-0|
|Bibliography note:||Includes bibliographical references and index|
|Subjects:||Astronautics--Technological innovations ; Astronautics--United States--Cost control ; Organizational effectiveness ; Outer space--Exploration--Cost control ; United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
Space exploration has always been one of the country's most expensive undertakings. The first moon landing cost $21 billion in 1969 dollars. The International Space Station currently under construction will cost at least $65 billion by the time it is finished . A single flight of the reusable space shuttle costs $400 million. In "Faster, better, cheaper: low-cost innovation in the U.S. space program", Howard E. McCurdy examines NASA's recent efforts to save money while improving mission frequency and performance.
"Faster, better, cheaper" takes its title from the initiative of the same name, which officials at NASA adopted after the high-profile failure of the Mars Observer spacecraft in 1993. Although that expedition was conceived in 1981 as the last in a series of lower-cost missions, its budget by launch had grown from $250 million to more than $800 million. To compensate for research opportunities lost during the hiatus since the last Viking mission in 1976, scientists in 1992 added numerous instruments while technicians added equipment to guard against failure. This effort should have resulted in a more reliable and better-performing spacecraft, and yet, as the Observer approached Mars in August 21, 1993, it disappeared.
McCurdy details the sixteen missions undertaken during the 1990s -including an orbit of the moon, deployment of three space telescopes and four earth-orbiting satellites, two rendezvous with comets and asteroids, and a test of an ion propulsion engine -which cost less than the sum traditionally spent on a single, conventionally planned planetary mission. He shows how these missions employed smaller spacecraft and cheaper technology to undertake less complex and more specific tasks in outer space. While the technological innovation and space exploration approach that McCurdy describes remains controversial, the historical perspective on its disappointments and triumphs points to ways of developing "faster, better, cheaper" as a management manifesto.
Copies in the Library (1)
|Barcode||Call number||Media type||Location||Section||Status|
|009566||TL796.5.U5M37 2001||Book||ISU Central Campus library||Closed-stack||Available|