Thursday, February 05, 2004
NASA Sets Aside Day to Honor Astronauts
AP Wire: "Dr. Jon Clark, a NASA neurologist who lost his wife Laurel aboard Columbia, is among those dissatisfied with the state of cultural affairs one year later. He says he sees and hears enough to know that resistance persists.

'The people who don't sit there and see themselves in the report and see ways they can improve things, they're the ones who need to go,' Clark says. 'In other words, they embrace change, but it's changing somebody else, not them.'

Clark says one of his colleagues, a psychiatrist, volunteered to work at the new NASA Engineering and Safety Center in Virginia, an outgrowth of the Columbia disaster. He was told, 'No, no, we only want engineers.'

'That's the exact kind of attitude, that it's not an engineering problem, per se,' that needs to change, Clark says. 'You need sociologists and psychologists, you need the soft sciences because they're the ones who are going to tell you when people start having intuitive feelings, you better start listening.'

Garcia worries time will take its toll, just as it did after the Challenger accident, and that budget crunches and schedule pressures will start piling up once more.

'The fact that we're changing back now doesn't really shock me based on past history. That's really what we've done every time' following an accident,' he says. 'Now will we sustain it? That's the key here, whether we sustain it or not.'"

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