Home » Risk Management » Avoiding A Bad Launch

The 2.6 billion-rouble ($45 million) satellite — the Meteor M — was launched last month from Vostochny, with Roscosmos losing contact with it shortly after. It then emerged that the rocket carrying the satellite had been programmed with the wrong coordinates, and had instead been given bearings for far-off cosmodrome Baikonur. Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin blamed the snafu on an “embarrassing programming error”, which isn’t going to instill much confidence in future guests of Russia’s space hotel, also announced this week. Endgadget.com, December 28, 2017, Russia lost a 45m satellite because of a launchpad mix up. Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

I’ve seen similar, usually avoidable issues. In my experience, it was just about always a pseudo-expert (usually in a management position) who made a quick decision to “just move it to the other launch pad!” You then see these same people quietly standing on the sidelines, hoping no one remembers their involvement, and arguing, when caught, that no one told them the configuration would need to be updated for another launch pad (i.e., it’s someone else’s fault). Yeah, because they didn’t include the actual experts in on the decision because, suffering second-order ignorance, they thought they knew everything they needed to make an obviously brilliant and decisive decision.

See avoiding 2nd order ignorance

Are you regularly consulting with your experts in anticipation of periodically having to make time sensitive decisions about your project?

Thank you for sharing!