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Semester Essay Writing Assignment Failure is Not an Option – Kranz HIST 1302 – U

by | Mar 6, 2022 | History

 

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Semester Essay Writing Assignment Failure is Not an Option – Kranz HIST 1302 – United States History II
Students will read Failure is Not an Option by Gene Kranz and compose an essay in response to the
following writing prompt:
Following the disaster of Apollo 1, where astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee died in a fire during a training exercise, Gene Kranz spoke some powerful words to his team. The resulting speech became known as “The Kranz Dictum”.
”Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The
simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily. Nothing we did had any shelf life. Not one of us stood up and said, ‘Dammit, stop!’ I don’t know what Thompson’s committee will find as the cause, but I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle. We were pushing the schedule and betting that the Cape would slip before we did.
From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: ‘Tough’ and ‘Competent.’ Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write ‘Tough and Competent’ on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.”
Failure is Not an Option teaches us about problem-solving. In any crisis, true leadership rises up. Throughout history, individuals and examples of true leadership during difficult times are plentiful. Apply “The Kranz Dictum” to an event in history and how using the problem-solving skills detailed in the book could have altered the outcome of the event.
Essay Expectation:
Your essay should be at least 500 words, but no more than 750 words. The essay should be
double-spaced, font type Times New Roman, and font size 12pt. Students should include specific
examples from the book, as well as, reference at least two primary sources documents. The
submission should include a title page and works cited page using MLA formatting.

 

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