Success-Oriented Planning at NASA

February 28th, 2007

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

NASA is delaying the next launch of the space shuttle due to a hail storm that damaged the external tank. However, according to NASA this delay won’t cause any problems meeting their launch schedule this year:

[N. Wayne Hale Jr., the shuttle program manager, in a briefing from Cape Canaveral, Fla.] said that despite the latest delay he believed that the launching schedule had enough flexibility to allow the five flights that are planned for this year.

Anyone want to bet that NASA will in fact launch the shuttle 5 times in the last 7 months of 2007? Consider the following data from a paper we did in 1992 (PDF):


NASA is either fooling themselves or fooling us. Neither is a particualrly good way to run the nation’s space program.

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