Institutional Path Dependence in NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program: A Case Study of Technological Evolution and Persistence Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/ks65hf24b

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  • Despite extensive research on the historical and technical aspects of national space policy, little has attempted to understand the links between technological evolution in NASA’s spaceflight program in relation to its administrative, political and economic context. This essay explores these connections in the development and evolution of core systems in NASA’s Project Constellation (2004-2010) and subsequent program, the Space Launch System (2010-2013). Through the lens of path dependence and critical juncture framework, this historical study aims to identify the specific mechanisms and rigidities that played a critical role in shaping the technological and program outcomes of the programs. The framework reveals that path dependent dynamics have contributed to the persistence of Shuttle derived technologies in Project Constellation and its evolution to the Space Launch System. That policy and technology are driven in part by self-reinforcing effects suggests the need for these processes to be uncoupled or otherwise addressed through reflection and assumption surfacing in order to prioritize technological advancement and program sustainability.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-06-03T21:19:14Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Trevor_Waddell_MPP_Essay.pdf: 4278713 bytes, checksum: 3813074568f3a5872d79fe8b93adbc8a (MD5) Previous issue date: 2013-05-21
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