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"Failure is not an option" 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post "Failure is not an option"
The often-used phrase regarding America's space program has been: "Failure is not an option." We all understand the concept that the equipment and the people need to perform as planned, with no miscues. But if failure is not an option, you need to stay on the ground. Everything about space travel is subject to failure, and if is worth doing, it will involve taking calculated risks. ... Only the possible rewards of exploration make the risks tolerable.

- Buzz Aldrin, Magnificent Desolation (p.75)

It's been said before. But this is said so well I had to pass it along.

"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.

Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:22 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:22 am
Posts: 603
Location: Reno, NV
Post Re: "Failure is not an option"
Yeah. I am *so* glad Buzz Aldrin has shaken off a decade or more of alcohol abuse and depression and is back. We need him. We need all of the guys that walked on the moon.

Catherine Jefferson <>
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Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:23 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2232
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Post Re: "Failure is not an option"
I am depressed to report how much this phrase is tossed around NASA these days. Failure to meet a goal is one thing, and not to be countenanced. But this phrase is used for every friggin' task. Risk is a four-letter word in the space program. They are so deathly afraid of making a mistake that they make the worst mistakes of all.

(Have been watching some really good Moonshot retrospectives lately. NASA then did things that NASA now is totally incapable of, and it has nothing to do with money.)

Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:33 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 540
Post Re: "Failure is not an option"
"When failure is not an option, success gets mighty damned expensive."

Don't remember where I read that. Jerry Pournelle's blog, maybe, or Rand Simberg's.

Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:10 pm
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