In 2006, a Glenn Research Center team began developing the Ares I-X Upper Stage Simulator. Building a team with the right competencies and skills was the project manager’s primary challenge.
Forced back to the drawing board after the loss of the Challenger space shuttle, the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) team had to find a new way to get the spacecraft into orbit.
Four months before the planned launch of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the manufacturer of the launch vehicle reported that its fuel tank experienced a failure during testing.
As launch day approached for Gravity Probe B, engineers worked to understand an elusive electrical problem. Ultimately the program manager had to decide how to handle it.
A new project manager found himself beginning his first assignment with no engineering drawings, none of the designers who had worked on an earlier phase of the development, and a team with no technical expertise.
The primary objective of the Viking science mission was the stuff of dreams: to determine if there was evidence of life on Mars. Developing an instrument that would enable this analysis would not prove easy.
The TIMED mission got caught in dramatic changes at NASA and was almost terminated. How would you have dealt with mission de-scope? What lessons did the team learn?