Highlights – Issue 23, Spring 2006
  • Wernher von Braun: Lessons Taught … and Learned

    Wernher von Braun: Lessons Taught … and Learned

    By Bob Ward “Rocket scientist” Wernher von Braun remains a controversial figure. Even today, thirty-six years since his retirement from NASA and almost twenty-nine years after he departed planet Earth at the age of just sixty-five, the German-born engineer and physicist—and one-time enemy of the United States and its allies—still stands as an intriguing, dynamic, […]

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  • What Makes an Effective NASA Project Manager?

    By Vern Weyers The varied responsibilities of NASA project managers include technical, cost, schedule, and team management aspects of their projects. The PM must deal with people and problems continuously and must evaluate the risk involved with each decision.

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  • Interview With Michael Coats

    By Don Cohen Former astronaut Michael Coats joined NASA in 1984 and flew three shuttle missions before leaving the Agency for Lockheed Martin in 1991. He was appointed Center Director of Johnson Space Center in November 2005. He talked with Don Cohen in February 2006.

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Stardust: Commitment, Care, and Communication

Persistence, communication, and commitment to an inspiring goal helped make the Stardust mission a success.
By Ken Atkins

Genesis: Learning from Mistakes

The Genesis crash landing revealed the need to test even systems that have been used before and provided hard-earned lessons for other missions.
By Kerry Ellis

Featured Invention: Cabin Pressure Monitor

The Personal Cabin Pressure Altitude Monitor and Warning System, winner of the NASA Commercial Invention of the Year and Government Invention of the Year awards for 2003, grew out of a project to create a vacuum chamber that would simulate lunar and Mars environments.
By Carol Anne Dunn

Wernher von Braun: Lessons Taught and Learned

The biographer of the eminent space pioneer considers von Braun as a scientist, teacher, leader, spokesman for the space program—and as a man.
By Bob Ward

Cancelled Project, Continuing Relationships

The hypersonic re-entry vehicle never flew, but the project was a model of cooperation that has created lasting relationships that will benefit other collaborative work.
By The HyTEx Team

From Chaos to Order

A conversational process guided by a software tool that makes tasks and resources explicit puts a floundering portal development project on track.
By Mike Zambruski and Don Cohen

What Makes an Effective NASA Project Manager?

Reflecting on a 40-year career, a NASA veteran describes qualities shared by the outstanding project managers he has known.
By Vern Weyers

Interview with Michael Coats

The Director of Johnson Space Center talks about the perspective he gained from his astronaut experience and the challenge of traveling to Mars.
By Don Cohen

The View from Space

A few examples of the many images from space that have increased our knowledge about Earth and changed how we think about our planet.
By Ben Bruneau and Kerry Ellis

Improving Lessons Learned

The chairman of the JPL Lessons Learned Committee describes a process designed to ensure that important lessons are not only captured but put into practice.
By David Oberhettinger

Collaborative Community

The authors discuss a new, flexible kind of organizational community based on shared work, shared goals, and shared values.
By Paul Adler and Charles Heckscher

Challenging Complacency

Organizations can employ a range of strategies to reduce the chances that past success will blind them to future risks.
By Stephen Denning

ASK Magazine, Issue 23, Spring 2006

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