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Into the BlackJPL and the American Space Program, 1976-2004$
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Peter J. Westwick

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300110753

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300110753.001.0001

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JPL under Allen

JPL under Allen

(p.165) Eleven JPL under Allen
Into the Black

Peter J. Westwick

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the reasons for Bruce Murray's resignation as director of JPL; he perceived a turning point in the history of the lab, from the Mariner-Voyager era of planetary exploration to the era of a combination NASA and military lab no longer sustained by planetary projects. This transition would entail changes in JPL's internal management, starting at the top, and also in the lab's relations with Caltech and NASA and with an increasingly mature aerospace industry. Murray, however, underestimated the prospects for the planetary program, and the subsequent revival of the primary mission on top of new programs made growth a key issue in the 1980s. When Lew Allen arrived at JPL in October 1982 he did not perceive any great mandate for change and undertook no sweeping reorganization. That itself represented a change from Murray's tenure, as did Allen's pragmatic management style, which departed from Murray's more visionary initiatives.

Keywords:   resignation, Bruce Murray, Mariner-Voyager era, planetary exploration, military lab, aerospace industry, Lew Allen, pragmatic management style, visionary initiatives

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