Two Mars Mission Reports Delivered to NASA; A Third to Follow

By Keith Cowing
March 13, 2000
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Mars Climate Orbiter

NASA Administrator Dan Goldin received two reports today on his agency’s performance as it explores Mars. A third report is soon to follow. The first report focused on NASA’s “Faster/Cheaper/Better” approach to mission design which suggests that NASA needs ” to slow down some, not rush too quickly into important Programs and Projects, plan and implement them more carefully, and move away from fixations on cost and near term gain.” The second report contains the final findings on the cause of the Mars Climate Orbiter failure. The report found that NASA ” failed to introduce sufficient discipline in the processes used to develop, validate and operate the spacecraft; nor did it adequately instill a mission success culture that would shore up the risk introduced by these cuts.”

Still to come is a report on the Mars Polar Lander failure which is expected to be very critical of NASA. This report is scheduled for delivery to NASA on 15 March, but NASA will not be making any public comment on its contents for several weeks.

°NASA Press release

°NASA Faster, Better, Cheaper (FBC) Task Final Report (Full report – 124 K Adobe Acrobat file)

°Report on Project Management in NASA by the Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board (Executive Summary) (Full report – 473 K Adobe Acrobat file)

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