The Secret of Apollo

Author: Stephen B. Johnson
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801885426
Format: PDF
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How does one go about organizing something as complicated as a strategic-missile or space-exploration program? Stephen B. Johnson here explores the answer—systems management—in a groundbreaking study that involves Air Force planners, scientists, technical specialists, and, eventually, bureaucrats. Taking a comparative approach, Johnson focuses on the theory, or intellectual history, of "systems engineering" as such, its origins in the Air Force's Cold War ICBM efforts, and its migration to not only NASA but the European Space Agency. Exploring the history and politics of aerospace development and weapons procurement, Johnson examines how scientists and engineers created the systems management process to coordinate large-scale technology development, and how managers and military officers gained control of that process. "Those funding the race demanded results," Johnson explains. "In response, development organizations created what few expected and what even fewer wanted—a bureaucracy for innovation. To begin to understand this apparent contradiction in terms, we must first understand the exacting nature of space technologies and the concerns of those who create them."

Inside NASA

Author: Howard E. McCurdy
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began its space flight program in October of 1958 by launching the 84-pound Pioneer I space probe. Scarcely a decade later, in July of 1969, NASA amazed the world by landing the first humans on the Moon. In the two decades that followed, however, the agency appeared to lose both its vigor and its creativity. Inside NASA explores how an agency praised for its planetary probes and expeditions to the Moon became noted for the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and a series of other malfunctions. Using archival evidence as well as in-depth interviews with space agency officials, Howard McCurdy investigates the relationship between the performance of the U.S. space program and NASA's organizational culture. He begins by identifying the beliefs, norms, and practices that guided NASA's early successes. Originally, the agency was dominated by the strong technical culture rooted in the research-and-development organizations from which NASA was formed. To launch the expeditions to the Moon, McCurdy explains, this technical culture was linked to an organizational structure borrowed from the Air Force Ballistic Missile Program. Over time, however, changes imposed to accomplish the lunar expedition - as well as the normal aging process and increased bureaucracy in the government as a whole-altered NASA's original culture and eroded its technical strength. McCurdy observes that NASA's early success depended on a number of related characteristics: extensive testing, in-house technical capability, hands-on experience, exceptional people, stoic acceptance of risk and failure, and a frontier mentality. He concludes that, given the conditions ofmodern government, the performance of high-technology agencies like NASA inherently tends to decline. Inside NASA offers a revealing study of both organizational culture and bureaucratic aging.

Digital Apollo

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262266680
Format: PDF, ePub
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As Apollo 11's Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer's software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control from the computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts' desire to control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From the early days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to be more than "spam in a can" despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and software developed by engineers.Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA's extensive archives. Mindell's exploration of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight -- a lunar landing -- traces and reframes the debate over the future of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in which human roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or the future of exploration.

Spacesuit

Author: Nicholas De Monchaux
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026201520X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Chronicles the creation of the Apollo 11 spacesuits worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, which were designed by the women's undergarment-maker Playtex and consisted of 21 specialized layers, in a book that includes 140 cull-color illustrations.

Doing the Impossible

Author: Arthur L. Slotkin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461437016
Format: PDF, ePub
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Apollo was known for its engineering triumphs, but its success also came from a disciplined management style. This excellent account of one of the most important personalities in early American human spaceflight history describes for the first time how George E. Mueller, the system manager of the human spaceflight program of the 1960s, applied the SPO methodology and other special considerations such as “all-up”testing, resulting in the success of the Apollo Program. Wernher von Braun and others did not readily accept such testing or Mueller’s approach to system management, but later acknowledged that without them NASA would not have landed astronauts on the Moon by 1969. While Apollo remained Mueller’s priority, from his earliest days at the agency, he promoted a robust post-Apollo Program which resulted in Skylab, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. As a result of these efforts, Mueller earned the sobriquet: “the father of the space shuttle.” Following his success at NASA, Mueller returned to industry. Although he did not play a leading role in human spaceflight again, in 2011 the National Air and Space Museum awarded him their lifetime achievement trophy for his contributions. Following the contributions of George E. Mueller, in this unique book Arthur L. Slotkin answers such questions as: exactly how did the methods developed for use in the Air Force ballistic missile programs get modified and used in the Apollo Program? How did George E. Mueller, with the help of others, manage the Apollo Program? How did NASA centers, coming from federal agencies with cultures of their own, adapt to the new structured approach imposed from Washington? George E. Mueller is the ideal central character for this book. He was instrumental in the creation of Apollo extension systems leading to Apollo, the Shuttle, and today’s ISS and thus was a pivotal figure in early American human spaceflight history.

NASA and the Space Industry

Author: Joan Lisa Bromberg
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801865329
Format: PDF, ePub
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Few federal agencies have more extensive ties to the private sector than NASA. NASA's relationships with its many aerospace industry suppliers of rocket engines, computers, electronics, gauges, valves, O-rings, and other materials have often been described as "partnerships." These have produced a few memorable catastrophes, but mostly technical achievements of the highest order. Until now, no one has written extensively about them. In NASA and the Space Industry, Joan Lisa Bromberg explores how NASA's relationship with the private sector developed and how it works. She outlines the various kinds of expertise public and private sectors brought to the tasks NASA took on, describing how this division of labor changed over time. She explains why NASA sometimes encouraged and sometimes thwarted the privatization of space projects and describes the agency's role in the rise of such new space industries as launch vehicles and communications satellites.

System Health Management

Author: Stephen B Johnson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119998735
Format: PDF, ePub
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System Health Management: with Aerospace Applications provides the first complete reference text for System Health Management (SHM), the set of technologies and processes used to improve system dependability. Edited by a team of engineers and consultants with SHM design, development, and research experience from NASA, industry, and academia, each heading up sections in their own areas of expertise and co-coordinating contributions from leading experts, the book collates together in one text the state-of-the-art in SHM research, technology, and applications. It has been written primarily as a reference text for practitioners, for those in related disciplines, and for graduate students in aerospace or systems engineering. There are many technologies involved in SHM and no single person can be an expert in all aspects of the discipline.System Health Management: with Aerospace Applications provides an introduction to the major technologies, issues, and references in these disparate but related SHM areas. Since SHM has evolved most rapidly in aerospace, the various applications described in this book are taken primarily from the aerospace industry. However, the theories, techniques, and technologies discussed are applicable to many engineering disciplines and application areas. Readers will find sections on the basic theories and concepts of SHM, how it is applied in the system life cycle (architecture, design, verification and validation, etc.), the most important methods used (reliability, quality assurance, diagnostics, prognostics, etc.), and how SHM is applied in operations (commercial aircraft, launch operations, logistics, etc.), to subsystems (electrical power, structures, flight controls, etc.) and to system applications (robotic spacecraft, tactical missiles, rotorcraft, etc.).