The Washington Post has the story on 3 managers at NASA taking the fall for the Shuttle disaster. This trend will continue in the coming weeks as the new head of NASA, Sean O’Keefe, tries to stay one step ahead of the panel investigating the Columbia disaster.
To those unfamiliar with government it may seem odd that no one was actually terminated. Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances, firing a federal employee is about as easy as finding Jimmy Hoffa’s body. The legalities of firing a government worker are not all that formidable, but the management culture (alluded to in the Post article) in the government dictates that problem or tarnished employees be shuttled off to dead end jobs or the dusty cabinet space of the federal workplace.
These actions guarantee that no real change will permeate the NASA program. A new set of faces will carry on NASA business as usual with a few tweaks and changes here and there. This is bad news for future flight crews, as another Shuttle tragedy is all but certain if wholesale redesign of the space program and space fleet is not implemented.