Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2003 (Revised January 2004)

Mission to Mars (A)

by Alan D. MacCormack and Jay Wynn


This case is set in spring 2000, several months after two successive, failed missions to the planet Mars. Students are asked to evaluate the reasons for these failures in the context of NASA's "Faster, Better, Cheaper" program, which was initiated in 1992. They are also faced with the task of reconstructing a program for the exploration of Mars that considers the many uncertainties--political, financial, outcome related, and scientific--that can impact the program. Includes color exhibits.

Keywords: Failure; Change Management; Innovation Strategy; Science; Projects; Risk Management; Risk and Uncertainty; Aerospace Industry; Technology Industry;


MacCormack, Alan D., and Jay Wynn. "Mission to Mars (A)." Harvard Business School Case 603-083, February 2003. (Revised January 2004.)