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(Solved) The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is, of course, an agency of the national government of the United States.


 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is, of course, an agency of the national government of the United States. The "glory days" are over, following President Kennedy's call to land a person on the moon and return him safely to earth in the 1960s. Today, NASA struggles with its mission and its financial support from Congress, in the midst of the budget debt and so many other important needs of the American people. There are many companies that have contracts with NASA and depend upon NASA for their survival. In some situations, the employees of those companies have jobs only so long as the companies have federal contracts. 


The company, Morton Thiokol, was the manufacturer of the solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle program in the 1980s. The O-rings on the solid rocket boosters were necessary because Morton Thiokol boosters were build in Utah I understand that the boosters had to be build in parts in order to be moved to South Florida. The design of the boosters built in parts required the use of the O-rings. I understand that the solid rocket boosters might have been built by another company whole and have been moved to South Florida by ship. I see in this possible evidence that the Morton Thiokol contract was in part political. (Every major government contract is at least in part, political because money and jobs are involved.) NASA may have contracted with Morton Thiokol in part in order to gain the support of senators or representatives in Congress. Administrators at NASA felt under political pressure to launch on that cold morning in January of 1986. Engineers at Morton Thiokol were concerned about the possible failure of the O-rings at low temperature. Administrators at Morton Thiokol were probably concerned about keeping their contract with NASA going forward. Here is a situation involving not only politics and administration, but also engineering. The engineers were called upon to "put on their administration hats." Ultimately, the decision was made to launch that morning. The O-rings failed, seven astronauts died, and NASA as an agency suffered a major set-back. 


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiokol


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Boisjoly


For this assignment, view the five videos below. Write at least two paragraphs based on each video. In your paragraphs, answer the questions below. Organize your work by the numbered questions. Turn in this assignment as one file in D2L on or before the due date. If late, place your work in the late drop box for reduced credit. 


RUBRIC: I will grade this assignment based upon evidence that you have watched the videos, that you have written at least two substantial paragraphs per question, that your
writing is good and that your content generally makes sense in the context of the study of public administration.


Challenger: The Untold Story Part 1 of 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaZzRmpa1iA


If you do not remember the glory days of space exploration, talk to someone who does.  Think about the fact that most American cars in the 1960s had fins. Can you relate to or imagine Christa McAuliffe in terms of her passions for teaching and life? What is your general perception of mankind and the future? Is space a part of that general perception for you or not? 


Challenger: The Untold Story Part 2 of 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H3NfqP9438


Imagine yourself as Christa McAuliffe applying to become the first teacher in space. How do you feel? NASA was apparently trying to promote the idea that space travel was safe. Was the "teacher in space" idea political in motivation? Take a position and explain.


Challenger: The Untold Story Part 3 of 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dgbRBdnhRY


Imagine yourself as Roger Boisjoly. Do you see yourself as a person of courage and convictions or as a dissatisfied employee of Morton Thiokol? What is your professional allegiance? If you believe that something is "wrong," how do you draw the line between, "going along" and, "standing up?" Is it disloyal to try to speak truth to power when the jobs of you and your colleagues may be on the line?


Challenger: The Untold Story Part 4 of 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00oVqRR6YHo


Continue to imagine yourself as Roger Boisjoly. Do you sometimes question the line between being assertive and being aggressive? At what point do you undermine your own values/interests by being aggressive? Are you being too assertive (as you step into the personality of Boisjoly)? How do you balance relationships with your friends and coworkers with expressing your concerns and fighting for your beliefs in a situation? Is quitting a viable option? If yes, might you as Boisjoly have quit rather than fight? Would that have accomplished anything?


Challenger: The Untold Story Part 5 of 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xaxxQ8ayIw


Assume the role of June Scobee Rogers reflecting on events years after the disaster. She was the wife of Commander Dick Scobee, one of the astronauts on the mission. What does it mean to trust a system? Can systems be held accountable, or when
systems fail do we just find scapegoats and hold them personally accountable for events beyond anyone's real control. Can systems be held responsible in the same way individuals can be held responsible? Was NASSA being dishonest in seeking to demonstrate that space flight was safe, for the organization's own political and financial needs?

 


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