Faster, Better, Cheaper
Low-cost Innovation in the U.S. Space ProgrameBook - 2001
After the highly publicized failure of the Mars Observer spacecraft in 1993, NASA decided that the problem was related to the many additions of instruments and equipment that had occurred since its original conception in 1981. In response, NASA adopted the "faster, better, cheaper" method in which spacecraft were designed for limited missions and budgets were kept down. McCurdy (public affairs, American U.) details the 16 missions that have occurred since the switch, discussing reasons for failure or success. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Johns Hopkins University Press
In Faster, Better, Cheaper: Low-Cost Innovation in the U.S. Space Program, Howard E. McCurdy examines NASA's recent efforts to save money while improving mission frequency and performance. McCurdy details the sixteen missions undertaken during the 1990s—including an orbit of the moon, deployment of three space telescopes, four Earth-orbiting satellites, two rendezvous with comets and asteroids, and a test of an ion propulsion engine—which cost less than the sum traditionally spent on a single, conventionally planned planetary mission. He shows how these missions employed smaller spacecraft and cheaper technology to undertake less complex and more specific tasks in outer space. While the technological innovation and space exploration approach that McCurdy describes is still controversial, the historical perspective on its disappointments and triumphs points to ways of developing "faster, better, and cheaper" as a management manifesto.