Maintaining NASTRAN: the politics and technics of aerospace computing

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Date
1995-02-05
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

This thesis describes a process of how NASA maintained the NASTRAN (NASA Structural Analysis) computer program. Chapter one addresses my theoretical concern and suggests to learn from both critical theorists and social constructivists. Chapters Two and Three tell the story of NASA and NASTRAN, a computer program developed by NASA for solving problems of airframes and space structures. The story of NASA and NASTRAN demonstrates a structural imbalance between social groups of NASTRAN and results in the revision of NASTRAN in favor of aerospace users. Chapter Four recounts Feynman's concerns regarding the conflicts between managerial and engineering expertise. I discuss these issues in light of the story of NASA and NASTRAN.

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Keywords
computer programs
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