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  1. The external tank of shuttle was designed with a layer of insulating tiles that were
designed to stick to the tank, not to be shed. Similarly shuttle heat shield was not designed to be
damaged (tiles was very fragile, so that the shuttle was not allowed to fly in rain.)

2. Most of the time in past the Foam fall off and tiles also damaged but didn¶t affect the
functioning of shuttle. So the management team thought that there was no ³safety of flight
issue´. In the case of Columbia disaster this was the main cause.

3. The NASA was assuming that if any disaster happens regarding foam and tiles then noting
can be done but later the experts concluded that there are two alternatives to handle this type of
problems (a) they can repair the damaged part or (b) they can rescue the crew through a speed up
launch of the shuttle Atlantis.

4. Program manager create huge barriers against disseminating opinions by stating preconceived
conclusions based on subjective knowledge and experience rather than on factual data.

5. NASA managers were not providing all the relevant information to the decision makers in
Columbia mission.

6. There was not any improvement in the level of NASA funding.

7. Still they were focusing on ³Faster, Better & cheaper´

8. Maintaining tight operational schedule

Management reformed but the organizational culture remains unchanged because:

1. Inadequate concern over deviation from expected performance


2. A silent safety program. They were not disclosing the weakness of the programme to the
other functional areas teams.
3. Still they had very tight schedule pressure.
rrganizational communication barrier:

1. Preventive effective communication of critical safety information


2. Difference of opinion between management and experts.
3. Evolution of informal chain of command and decision making process
4. Lack of integrated management.

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 the most important thing is üredesign roles and ³act consistently with advocated
actions because after the Challenger disaster the expert team recommended so many safety
and technology improvement tips but the management team didnt worked properly and
worked on the basis of their own old organizational culture and finally the outcome was
Columbia disaster.

The experts suggested NASA to restructure of management, redesign of booster joints, work on
factual data etc. but the problem in NASA was:-

a) Their geographically dispersed matrix organization


b) Their tight schedule and increase pressure on employee to meet the schedule
c) Due to matrix organization there were no proper co-ordination & co-operation.
d) Inadequate financing to cut cost
e) Communication barrier
f) All the final decisions were taken by management team only.
Thee need of the redesign role is because there is an informal hierarchy and all the major
decision is taken by the management team only. They are not always ready to listen experts and
engineers. They focus on their past experience rather than technology advancement. So they
need to improve their hierarchy gap and the management team should encourage the employee to
share the experience and opinions. Their major problem is the communication barrier also.

The main reason of Columbia disaster is that they didnt worked properly as recommended by
the experts. They didnt focus on technology advancement. So it is necessary for them to work
consistently as recommended. They didnt take seriously about foam and tiles problem while it
was very common in all the flights and finally became the main cause of Columbia disaster.

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 The most applicable thing is Aexpect some unanticipated outcomes. Because the experts
always recommended NASA to work in safe side. They were expecting some unexpected
outcomes that may destroy the shuttle. But the management teams were working according to
their own policies and plans. They were not working properly as recommended by the experts.
The experts suggested them about the suitable weather condition for Challenger but the
management team didnt suppose their advice and they launched the shuttle and the shuttle
destroyed.

The second case is about Foam and Tiles where the management team took it lightly and the
result is Columbia disaster. So the conclusion is that management teams should expect some
unanticipated outcomes and work to solve the problems.