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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
NIF, the Spruce Goose
Anonymously contributed: ------------------------ The debate about whether or not NIF is an engineering wonder or a physics failure is interesting, but unimportant. No matter how elegant the engineering, if the physics can't be done, the end result is failure and the engineering but a sterile accomplishment. There is a stunningly accurate historical precedent for NIF, the Spruce Goose. Conceived as an essential wartime tool, built by an exceptional engineer, wildly over cost, delivered late, and wholly irrelevant to the mission by the time it was completed. Moreover, technology passed it by and it was a complete dead end, despite its true elegance. Interestingly, the characteristics of their leaders are quite similar as well. The Wikipedia summary on the Spruce Goose is recommended as a management case history.
By scooby at August 28, 2012
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