7 February, 2003: Wakey wakey

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I could do with an alarm clock like this:

This lack of autonomy is perhaps most strikingly demonstrated by the procedure for astronauts waking: their morning alarm consists of music sent over an audio channel from the ground, and the astronauts talk back to mission control just seconds later. It is difficult to imagine anything that would foster a greater feeling of dependence on the ground staff. Astronauts are being trained and conditioned not to think for themselves, but to refer all the thinking to mission control, who lead them through everything. This culture of helplessness needs to change.

NASA cultural failures -- link via RISKS.

Copyright (c) 2003 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.