NASA Report: Historical Exploration: Learning Lessons from the Past to Inform the Future

"This report examines a number of exploration campaigns that have taken place during the last 700 years, and considers them from a risk perspective. The explorations are those led by Christopher Columbus, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Franklin, Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Company of Scotland to Darien and the Apollo project undertaken by NASA. To provide a wider context for investigating the selected exploration campaigns, we seek ways of finding analogies at mission, programmatic and strategic levels and thereby to develop common themes. Ultimately, the purpose of the study is to understand how risk has shaped past explorations, in order to learn lessons for the future. From this, we begin to identify and develop tools for assessing strategic risk in future explorations."


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