The Apollo Crises

The Apollo Crises

The crises is the Apollo project can be described as being the result of directing resources to the wrong course. This is evident by the fact that even after much preparation, there are two missions that endangered and one caused the loss of lives of people (Madrigal, 2012). The timing of the projects was also considered irrational given that the funds directed to the project would have been used to save lives of people in the United States. This was a political crises as well as a social crises where the government appeared to be supporting the NASA’s activities of going to the moon instead of ensuring that the American citizens feel protected by the government. These is an activity that further heightened the black communities’ feeling discrimination who at the time were living in deplorable conditions (NASA, 2017). After the failure of the first trip to the moon where the astronauts died, the NASA had to cancel their subsequent planned trips. This was because during this time, there was a crisis and a blame game going on with no party taking responsibility for the fatalities that occurred during Apollo 1. The crisis was used to further criticize the project all together. 

Describe how NASA reacted to them.

NASA was at a loss after the death of the crew in Apollo 1. This was due to the fact that each time there was an inspection into the equipment’s ability to reach the moon, there was always and error that could cause deaths or injuries mid-air.  NASA reacted by cancelling two missions to the space as a result of these failures. NASA tried to act rationally but there was pressure from the congress to go ahead with the plan in a bid to ensure that The United Soviet Union did not beat them again (NASA, 2015). The second crisis was as a result of a fire that threatened to kill the astronauts that were on board due to excess pressurized oxygen. NASA responded to these incidence by ensuring that the space crafts’ functionalities were tested simultaneously prior to launching. It was in an effort to point out exactly what part of the space craft was not working in synchronization with the rest (Woods, 2017). This mode of testing for functionality meant that the chances of failing while in space were minimal.

NASA’s response was a true organizational response to crises. The abandonment of the various Apollo projects were done as a result of the machines showing weak point. The decision to abandon the trips to the moon on whose occasions represented the most initial step of crisis management according to Eric McConnell. The quick decision making is step two of the crisis management which was shown by the decision to abandon trips to the moon until better equipment was put together (McConnell, 2011). This led to the third stage of crisis management which was to have a strategy to avert the crisis. This is the stage of crisis aversion that resulted in the successful landing of Neil Armstrong on the moon. The flow of ideas ensured that the United States achieved her goal of getting to the moon and back successfully. Crisis management entails the manager taking into consideration the fact that unforeseen risks can take place. This stage would have prevented much damage from occurring when the fire broke out in the space ship before the Apollo projects were abandoned.

Leadership in times of crisis often determines how the crisis will be solved. During this crisis, the realization that there were risks was the best decision the managers did. They also realized that the race to the moon was not going to be possible to due to the dangers of the machines failing during testing (Blash, 2017). The leadership had learnt valuable lesson from the deaths of the first group of astronauts and the burning of the second space craft. The second crisis was contained but was close shave with the risks of causing the deaths of more astronauts. The management of these projects eventually ran out of ideas of making the Apollo projects a success. This is why the project had to be abandoned despite billions of dollars having been invested in building these machines (New York Guide, 2002). The ability to face the reality of the crisis and prepare for its consequences is also a strong leadership point for the project. The Apollo project faced many challenges that eventually had it abandoned due to lack of proper crisis management leaders.

Most project management projects often require systematic handling which is what the Apollo project started with (Barron & M, 2012). There was a disconnect in the management at some point which resulted in the abandonment of the project all together. The management possibly ran out of ideas of making the race to the moon successful. The success of the project is likely to have justified the amount of money used in developing the space crafts. As it stands, the American people still feel that the project was historical but still a waste of funds that would have been used to develop America and reduce poverty.


Barron, A., & M, B. (2012). Project Management for all careers. Retrieved from Creative commons:

Blash, S. (2017). The Lessons for Leading During Crisis. Retrieved from PM Times:

Madrigal, A. C. (2012, september 12). Moondoggle: The Forgotten Opposition to the Apollo Program. Retrieved from the Atlantic:

McConnell, E. (2011, June 08). 9 Lessons of Effective Crisis Management for Project Managers. Retrieved from My Mnagement Guide:

NASA. (2015). The Apollo Mission. Retrieved from

NASA. (2017). The Apollo Program . Retrieved from 

New York Guide. (2002). Management’s Guide to Project Success. New York State Office for Technology. Retrieved from New York Guide: 

Woods, W. (2017, November 12). The Apollo Flights: A Brief History. How Apollo Flew to the Moon . Retrieved from New York Springer Praxis Books:

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