Type of paper: Essay

Topic: NASA, Space, Organization, Technology, Science, Workplace, Life, Education

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/06

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, commonly known as NASA, was started in 1958, partly in response to the Soviet Union’s aeronautic achievements (NASA, 2014). Since then, NASA has worked to achieve advancements in aerospace travel, technology, and scientific research. In 1969, NASA facilitated the first space mission to the moon. NASA first launched its reusable space shuttle in 1981, and the shuttle went on 130 successful exploration and scientific missions until it was retired in 2011. In 2000, Russia and the United States established a permanent space station that is used by 15 different nations (NASA, 2014).
In the early to mid 2000s, interest in NASA and space exploration began to wane, and many of the organization’s projects were shut down. NASA made up for the funding shortages by taking on private and commercial projects. Both public and private funding currently pays for NASA’s ongoing missions to far off places like Mars and, someday, the moons on Jupiter. In order accomplish so many advances in space exploration, science, and technology NASA has need a clear mission, strong leadership, and an exceptional company culture.

What’s Important to NASA?

Science, technology, discovers, and space explorations are what NASA finds important. NASA would like to get humans as far as possible into space. The organization would also like to discover life in other parts of the universe. The organization is so interested in space and technology advance that it is willing to work with countries that the United States does not have a great relationship with, such as Russia. This spirit of cooperation shows that NASA sees societie’s advancements as more important than anything that’s happening between countries. This means that science, technology and exploration are the most important thing that the organization does. Education and engineering is also important to NASA. The organizations puts and emphasis on education so that they can be sure that the next generation is full of engineers and scientists who are able to help NASA complete its mission and goals. NASA also strives for excellence and, in some cases, perfection. This is because the engineering has to be perfect for advanced missions such as space launches and moonwalks. Even one error could, as has, end in disaster.

NASA Mission, Vision, and Values

According to the NASA Website (2014), NASA’s vision is, “To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.” In addition to the main vision, NASA has four missions that are split up among four branches of the organization. The four organizations are Aeronautics, Human Exploration, Science, and Space Technologies.
The Aeronautics division “manages research focused on meeting global demand for air mobility in ways that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable, while also embracing revolutionary technology from outside aviation.” The Human Exploration Division “focuses on International Space Station operations, development of commercial spaceflight capabilities and human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.” The Science Division “explores the Earth, solar system and universe beyond; charts the best route of discovery; and reaps the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.” The Space Technology Division, “rapidly develops, innovates, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies that enable NASA's future missions while providing economic benefit to the nation,” (NASA, 2014).
NASA values education as well. NASA has dozens of programs aimed at educating students and encouraging students to become interns at NASA laboratories throughout the United States. NASA also holds several summer camps that focus on education for students of all ages. It would be safe to say that an additional mission is to promote the idea of space travel through educational and outreach programs. This unofficial directive is apparent throughout NASA’s various projects.

What NASA Rewards

NASA offers many rewards such as educational grants, scientific grants, and engineering excellence awards. NASA also values diversity, the organization awards women and minorities for their contribution to science and technologies. NASA has a graduate education program for students who study space life science, which is the study of the possibility of potential life in space. It doesn’t say anywhere on the organization’s official documents, but I think it’s safe to say that NASA awards dedication. The people in leadership positions and those receive grants and awards seem to dedicate themselves completely to science as a whole and to NASA as an organization.

Leadership Priorities

NASA’s leadership has a headquarters in Washington, DC and it has laboratories all over the country and even one in space. NASA is currently headed by Charles Frank Bolden, Jr. Bolden is especially excited about cutting edge technologies that have multiple applications, both in space and on earth. One of the top priorities is to continually seek out life on other planets.
Since NASA has become partly privately funded, the leadership has begun to prioritize commercial operations. NASA can be hired to carry cargo to and from space stations. The organization has also begun to look into space tourism as a way to advance interest in space and to generate some additional funding. NASA also puts and emphasis on the space technology that they develop that ends up becoming useful in other parts of engineering, such as airplane material, energy efficiency, and even food science (NASA, 2014). The leadership looks for practical, everyday applications of technology that has been developed for space travel.

My Feelings on NASA Values

I feel that NASA has a singular vision that they have focused on for over 50 years. While their activities have changes to reflect both advancements and changes in sources of funding, the organization has stayed true to its original goals, to explore space. They continue to work toward their goals, even while some of their missions have had to change to accommodate commercial sources of funding. I think that many organizations would have altered their mission to focus on profitability, but NASA has continued to work on projects that they believe will benefit all mankind.
I’m especially impressed with the fact that NASA continues to work with Russia and other countries in order to ensure that the best minds are cooperating to further technology. While this focus is admirable, I think that it might make it hard to work at NASA. I think that engineering and science projects would take precedence over the balance of work and life. I can imagine workers putting in long days and working through the weekend to make sure that a job is done safely and on time. I’m sure that these measures would be necessary, but it might make it occasionally unpleasant to work at NASA.

Potential Employer Values

When I look for a job, I’ll look for employers who value integrity and fairness. I would like to work for an organization that provides great value and benefit to society. I also would like to work for a company that offers benefits such as medical insurance and vacation time. For me, it is important that a potential employer values the balance between work and life. That means allowing workers to adapt their schedule to meet the needs of their life and family. It could mean allowing workers to work part time and work from home for part of the workday. I’m sure that there are many organizations that provide both value to society and work life balance to employees.
Like NASA, I would like to work for an organization that sticks to their mission and vision and works progressively towards clearly outlined goals. I feel that too many modern organizations change their goals and priorities and that must be confusing for the workers. Organizations with changing goals may make it hard for employees to work there. They may lay off employees and hire new employees when they change their mission and goals.

Conclusion

NASA is currently working on going farther and farther into space. One of their primary concerns is discovering life on other planets. NASA is developing spacecraft that will carry human beings farther than they have ever been able to travel before. One of the most exciting NASA projects is the space tourism program. Thanks to NASA’s strong organizational culture and dedication to space engineering, people may soon be able to take a trip to a space station, or even the moon, as easy as they can take a trip to Disney land.

References

NASA AWARD. (1994, Sep 29). Times - Picayune (Pre-1997 Fulltext)
NASA Website. 2014. http://www.nasa.gov

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