Category Archives: After Ten Years

After Ten Years is a series about the events surrounding the Columbia accident.

Ten Years After Columbia: STS-112, the Harbinger

“You will never remember the many times the launch slipped, but the on-time failures are with you always” – Walt W. Williams, NASA Program Manager for X-15 and Mercury In the summer of 2002, the word got out about the … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: A Few Words from Admiral Gehman

I’d like to interrupt my personal recollections of the Columbia accident and its aftermath to give a few words from Admiral Gehman.  You might as well know that there are still people out there who will tell you the CAIB … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: Flying A Mature Vehicle – Or Not

  “The Space Shuttle is an experimental vehicle with an operational mission” – NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Michael Kostelnik, 2004 The Space Shuttle system was under development for 13 years and then actually flew in space for over 30 years.  … Continue reading

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Ten Years After Columbia: Pennywise and Pound Foolish

“Relentless budget reduction pressures necessitate more dramatic program actions” – Brewster Shaw, Space Shuttle Program Manager, December 1994 Polls show that the general populace rates the Internal Revenue Service as the most disliked agency in the US Federal government.  Among … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: The Tyranny of Requirements

My good friend and colleague from the Flight Director’s office, Jeff Bantle, left the agency several years ago to head up Lockheed-Martin’s Presidential Helicopter project.  He now has a great presentation talk about how incrementally added requirements can sink a … Continue reading

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Ten Years After Columbia: Balancing Work and Life

2002 was a tumultuous year in my personal life.  Last time I wrote about my work, my career, as a Space Shuttle Flight Director.  It was always more than a 40 hour a week job.  The question is how much … Continue reading

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Ten Years After Columbia: Balancing Life and Work

When you are in a High Reliability Organization, you have to pay attention.  The more extreme the risk, the more difficult the environment, the more complex the technology, the more attention you must pay.  But life intrudes.  As the song … Continue reading

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