Columbia’s Final Mission Essay

1012 WordsAug 6, 20085 Pages
This paper about Columbia’s Final Mission Case. Putting yourself in the shoes of the managers or engineers in the case (Ron Dittemore, Linda Ham, Don McCormack, Rodney Rocha, Pamela Madera, Calvin Schomburg), consider the following questions? • What prior assumptions and beliefs shaped the way that you thought and behaved during the Columbia mission? • What pressures affected your behavior? Where did these pressures originate? • In what ways did the culture impact your actions? • If you were in that person’s shoes during the Columbia mission, would you have behaved differently? Why or why not? a) Rodney Rocha Rodney Rocha is a NASA engineer and co-chair of Debris Assessment Team (DTS). When possibility of wing damage…show more content…
b) Ron Dittemore Ronald Dittemore, manager of Shuttle Program, received reports directly from Wayne Hale (manager of Launch Integration) and Linda Ham (manager of Space Shuttle Program Integration). It is clear that decision about foam issue was made based on communication with Linda Ham, stating that in previous flights had no critical problems with foam. Dittemore did not attempt to receive a professional opinion from the engineers. Furthermore, Rocha sent an e-mail to Dittemore in order to determine whether Columbia’s crew could make a space walk to perform an inspection of the wing. Answer to this e-mail was never received suggesting that communication attempts directly from engineers to high-level managers were rejected. NASA is a complex organization that maintains strict reporting relationship. Information exchange is built on hierarchy and rules did not facilitate fast informal communication between employees and high-level management. This filtering process diminished the information flow to the key decision-makers. To solve this hierarchical structure managers like Dittemore should exaggerate their ambiguous threats, avoid status differences and build trust among employees. Managers ought to communicate with specialists in order to obtain reliable information and understand the situation. c) Pamela Madera Pamela Madera, United Space Alliance engineering manager, was a chair of DAT. DAT was assigned to
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