Scout Rocket Program NASA

The course of action:

The intention was to build a properly functioning rocket as quickly as possible which could compete with The Soviet Union’s Sputnik. They wanted to put a lot of money into the project in a short amount of time so that a good, competitive rocket could be built as quickly as possible.

The result:

22 unsuccessful training flights. The rocket just did not want to function properly.

The lesson:

They did not reflect on it fundamentally. There seemed to be a different defect 22 times. The same error did not appear more than once. Only when they performed an in-depth investigation of the entire set up of the program did they achieve a successful flight. Making repairs alone was therefore not sufficient.

The program leader was very clear when he said; “Failure analysis is basically research, when you get down to it. You recover and learn from mistakes; you don’t do that with success.”

Published by:
S. J. Hogenbirk


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Why failure is an option..

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