Gene Kranz on the 'Kranz Dictum'

genekranz1Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily. Nothing we did had any shelf life. Not one of us stood up and said, ‘Dammit, stop!’ I don’t know what Thompson’s committee will find as the cause, but I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle. We were pushing the schedule and betting that the Cape would slip before we did. From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: ‘Tough’ and ‘Competent.’ Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write ‘Tough and Competent’ on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control. ]]>

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What if tankers drove as fast as jet skis?

More details: The first half begins just below the Port of Houston Authority Turning Basin (the very end of the channel) and continues down to Green’s Bayou. The second half takes us from there to Morgan’s Point at the head of Galveston Bay. From there we still have 31.5 miles of channel across the bay to the pilot station outside the Galveston jetties.
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Minotaur Rocket Launch from Wallops Island, VA tonight. Please go away clouds!

v_minotaur_000719_02Well hell. It’s grey and cloudy here but if it clears up by tonight you might want to head to somewhere with a good Eastern view (think the Western Shore of Maryland, Annapolis, etc) to catch a glimpse of a big Minotaur rocket going up from Wallops Island, VA

These things are pretty visible for quite a distance so if you want to do something cool with the kids it’s an option (if–if–if it clears up tonight, and the current forecast is not looking good). They put out some really bright flames and can be seen for about 800 miles. Last minute updates here:
Live Stream:  http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/webcast/
UPDATE:  5/19/09 at 7:55 EDT  LAUNCH!
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