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Re: [ontolog-forum] How not to write specifications (VISTA costs)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Sharma, Ravi" <Ravi.Sharma@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 15:03:33 -0600
Message-id: <D09FFCFB3952074082D4280BC24EAFA801B219CB@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>



Apollo Program related direct reductions were not many.

Only one back up of Skylab and perhaps one or two of Actual Apollo flights were cancelled, but follow-on’s such as Apollo Soyuz, and Planning for Station and Tug were severely curtailed.


I agree with your comment on subsequent to Apollo 17 reductions. By the time last mission came with Apollo 17 the technical community was at a loss and the Nation was confronted with uninteresting goals as compared to our presence on the Moon.

You do not abandon a program only to return 40 years later to find if there is water on the permanently shadowed craters or the poles of the Moon and how hard it is to extract?


This haphazardness leads to loss of information and please look closely, they are now proposing configurations for lunar exploration that we could have achieved in the next 2 decades after Apollo, perhaps computer speeds are better now but the accuracy of software engineering is similar. In the meantime primarily the spirit but also the best practices are lost and resulted in both Shuttles being lost due to judgment errors (also due to hierarchy related fears).


Since the reductions were drastic, many of my colleagues were not fortunate, and worked in all types of jobs including department stores and what a loss to the Nation! Part of this was caused by Vietnam War related financial constraints. Sounds familiar! That is why energy sector is in doldrums as no long term view is persistent with any predictable outcome or likelihood of success.


The marketing window of Apollo is to be appreciated in the light of Russians being ahead of us in space, Bay of Pigs happened shortly before the Landing on Moon - Apollo Goal was Announced, and a spirit like of which it is hard to see these days. There is diminished respect or understanding of contribution of science and technology partly due to media occupying attention to irrelevant issues and events and becoming closed loop “information” sources thus leading our society to a long term challenge in as far as support of new technologies are concerned!


By the way, your introduction of stochastic aspects (uncertainty reasoning) to semantic field is praiseworthy.




(Dr. Ravi Sharma) Senior Enterprise Architect

Vangent, Inc. Technology Excellence Center (TEC)

8618 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 310, Vienna VA 22182
(o) 703-827-0638, (c) 313-204-1740 www.vangent.com

Professional viewpoints do not necessarily imply organizational endorsement.

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Laskey
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 1:24 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] How not to write specifications (VISTA costs)


Couldn't resist this one:


On Jul 3, 2008, at 12:55 PM, Len Yabloko wrote:

Apollo was a 'mission' with clear target. No one (correct me if I am wrong) had a liberty to adjust it for market conditions or to move that target closer and make it more attainable. 


Actually, Apollo served many purposes, some of which were constantly at odds.  It had an arbitrary deadline because it had to hit a marketing window.  As the visible success of a landing became more of a reality, there were more constraints put on budget and overall mission; resources were plentiful when something daring and impossible was being pursued and public excitement was a frenzy, but less so when it was following through on engineering.  Finally, after the landing was successful, the interest in exploration and science was not enough to keep consumer interest and several later flights were canceled.


It is easier to draw parallels with something like the iPhone (where new models come out to reignite the frenzy) than something as mundane as an operating system.





Ken Laskey

MITRE Corporation, M/S H305     phone:  703-983-7934

7515 Colshire Drive                        fax:        703-983-1379

McLean VA 22102-7508


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