Goldin waffles on blame for Mars failures Florida Today

Recent remarks to two different audiences have some wondering whether NASA Administrator Dan Goldin is dodging responsibility for two Mars failures without looking like he’s dodging. In a speech earlier this month to a computing summit in Maryland, Goldin blamed the Mars failures on inadequate computer design tools and said his critics tend to “look for the guilty and punish the innocent.” He adopted a different attitude, however, in a recent interview with Florida Today that touched on the 1999 loss of Mars Climate Observer and Mars Polar Lander on separate missions. “As an agency, we are willing to tell the world we made a mistake,” Goldin said. “In the case of the Mars program, I believe that the people pressed too hard and they pressed too hard because I asked them to. Clearly we have to push it a little less aggressively.”