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Project Closeout

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” –William Faulkner In this Module, we consider what happens to a project once it reaches the finish line; if it ever does.Some projects, such as the iPhone, are finished at product rollout. Production, of course, continues at a frantic pace, but the design is frozen, at least for a time.Other major projects, notably telescopes and particle accelerators, are never finished, at least in the eyes of the developers. Rather, they are taken away from them by the customers, who are anxious to begin work, and convinced that better is the enemy of good enough. Other projects just sort of wither away. President Reagan’s ballistic missile defense system, popularly known as Star Wars, encountered a plethora of technical challenges and budget overruns. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 decreased the perceived urgency of a missile defense system, and the program has languished ever since. The first full-scale test, to be followed by an operational deployment, was cancelled in 2009.Despite setbacks and cost overruns, the Apollo Project was successful. America achieved Kennedy’s stated objective of landing men on the Moon and returning them safely to Earth. Yet it did not complete all its objectives, at least in the eyes of the scientific community. The last three lunar landing missions (Apollo 18, 19 and 20) never flew.Q1: Briefly recap the reasons why the last missions were cancelled, including the factors that argued against that decision.An important part of any project closeout is the “lessons learned.”Q2: How did NASA share the scientific knowledge gained from the Apollo program?Q3: How did the technical lessons learned during Apollo influence the American space program in the years that followed?Q4: What, in your (informed) opinion, are the most important lessons that any would-be project manager can take away from a study of the Apollo program? Resources for this Case are listed on the Background Information page. These are starting points; feel free to search the Web for additional information, and use whatever you think is useful. Be sure to provide citations and references for everything you use, including materials linked to this course.. References:Barron, M. & Barron, A. (2012). Project management for all careers. Creative Commons. Chapter 23 Retrieved on 25 September 2017 at https://tlc.trident.edu/content/enforced/106885-PRM301-2017OCT02FT-1/ProjectManagementforAllCareersEdition2.pdf Madrigal, A. (2012). Moondoggle: The forgotten opposition to the Apollo program. Atlantic magazine: Retrieved on 16 Apr 2017 from www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/moondoggle-the-forgotten-opposition-to-the-apollo-program/262254/NASA (2015). The Apollo Mission (website). Retrieved on 16 Apr 2017 from www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/index.html NASA (n.d.) The Apollo program (links). Retrieved on 16 Apr 2017 from https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo.html New York Guide (2002). Management’s Guide to Project success. Chapter 3, 5. New York State Office for Technology. Retrieved on 25 September 2017 at https://tlc.trident.edu/content/enforced/106885-PRM301-2017OCT02FT-1/NY%20Management%27s%20Guide%20to%20Project%20Success.pdf SciAm (July 16, 2009). Down to Earth: The Apollo Moon missions that never flew. Retrieved on 27 May 2017 from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/canceled-apollo-missions/ Woods, W. (2011). The Apollo flights: A brief history. How Apollo flew to the moon (Chap 2). NY: Springer Praxis Books. Retrieved on 25 September 2017 from: http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9781441971784-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1277143-p174136957

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