Innovation, Adaptation, and Knowledge at NASA: Lessons from LCROSS

NASA projects are often “firsts” or one-of-a-kind missions that require practitioners to innovate, draw on specialized knowledge, and adapt to unanticipated circumstances. Engineers face significant challenges meeting the physical constraints (e.g., a satellite’s dimensions and mass) of a mission's launch vehicle as well as the cost and schedule requirements. And at a time of unprecedented budget pressure across the agency, program and project managers have to make the most of low-cost opportunities to get projects launched. "Frugal innovation” typically refers to products that use existing technologies in radically simplified ways to make something new, robust, and affordable. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is an example of frugal innovation at NASA. In this presentation, Ed & Marguerite will examine the lessons learned from LCROSS.

Ed hoffman
Ed Hoffman
Chief Knowledge Officer

Dr. Ed Hoffman is the director of the NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership (APPEL) and NASA's Chief Knowledge Officer. He works within NASA as well as with leaders of industry, academia, professional associations, and other government agencies to develop the agency's capabilities in program and project management and engineering. Dr. Hoffman has written numerous journal articles, co-authored Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA, 2005) and Project Management Success Stories: Lessons of Project Leaders (Wiley, 2000), and speaks frequently at conferences and associations. He serves as adjunct faculty at The George Washington University.

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