Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. ix

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

This book builds on historical research I carried out over the last seven years and also on my own history and values. I did not begin with the intention of studying systems management or systems engineering, subjects familiar to me from my background in the aerospace industry. In fact, I made some effort at the start not to do so, to avoid my own biases. Originally, I wanted to use my aerospace...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xv-xvii

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Introduction: Management and the Control of Research and Development

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pp. 1-4

Since at least the Middle Ages, Western society’s fascination with sophisticated technology has demanded organizational solutions. By the middle of the nineteenth century, railroads in Europe and the United States required professional managers to run them.1 As the scale of operations increased, executives developed ‘‘systematic management’’ to coordinate...

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1 Social and Technical Issues of Spaceflight

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pp. 5-18

‘‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’’ These words of American astronaut Neil Armstrong, spoken as he stepped onto the surface of the Moon in July 1969, represented the views not only of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) but also of numerous Americans and space enthusiasts around the world.Many journalists, government heads, and industrial leaders...

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2 Creating Concurrency

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pp. 19-46

The complex weapon systems of World War II and the Cold War involved enormous technical difficulties. Scale was not the problem, for large-scale systems such as the telephone network, electrical power systems, and skyscrapers had existed before. Rather, the difficulty lay in the heterogeneity of the components, their novelty, and their underlying complexity. Military personnel were unfamiliar...

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3 From Concurrency to Systems Management

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pp. 47-80

By 1955, Bernard Schriever’s Western Development Division (WDD), in conjunction with the Special Aircraft Projects Office (SAPO) and Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation (R-W), had implemented concurrency to rapidly move intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from development into testing. As tests unfolded in 1956 and 1957, Schriever’s officers and contractors...

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4 JPL’s Journey from Missiles to Space

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pp. 81-114

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), located in Pasadena, California, and managed by the California Institute of Technology, began as a graduate student rocket project in the late 1930s and developed into the world’s leading institution for planetary space flight. Between 1949 and 1960, JPL transformed itself twice: first, from a small research organization to a large engineering...

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5 Organizing the Manned Space Program

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pp. 115-153

By far the largest programs within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the 1960s were the manned space projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. These differed from other NASA programs because of their massive scale and because several field centers, not just one, contributed significantly to them. The NASA headquarters role was bigger for these...

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6 Organizing ELDO for Failure

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pp. 154-178

World War II left Europe devastated and exhausted, while the United States emerged as the world’s most powerful nation, both militarily and economically. Western Europeans feared the Soviet Union’s military power and totalitarian government, but they worried almost as much about America’s immense economic strength. Some asserted that American dominance flowed...

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7 ESRO’s American Bridge across the Management Gap

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pp. 179-208

The European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) presented a welcome contrast to the ongoing embarrassments of the European Space Vehicle Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO). Created as a service organization for European space scientists, ESRO overcame its initial organizational difficulties and developed a successful series of scientific satellites. Its achievements proved that effective European...

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8 Coordination and Control of High-Tech Research and Development

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pp. 209-231

Systems management was a typical product of the Cold War, consisting of organizational structures and processes reflecting the interests and expertise of the social groups that created it. Facing intense pressure to deliver state-of-the-art technologies on tight schedules, military officers, managers, scientists, and engineers contributed their respective types of expertise and vied for control of the development...

Notes

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pp. 233-276

Essay on Sources

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pp. 277-282

Index

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pp. 283-290