And so, they stayed. These engineers' tolerance for the changes that have enveloped them comes partly from the realization that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Henry Beacham, who complains despairingly of bureaucratic impediments at Goddard Space Flight Center, recalls having worked for the Eastman Kodak Company after World War II. "I wasn't married," he remembers; "I didn't know the city, I was learning. So I used to like to stay at my desk. We had time cards. I had to punch out. All of a sudden I found out my boss was having me justify my overtime, so I learned that the thing to do was go punch out and come back to my desk." "I know a lot of young people make a lot more money when they go out into companies," concedes Marylyn Goode at Langley Research Center, "but I very often feel that the working atmosphere in companies is sometimes not as good as it is around here. And even the freedom-you know, we have things we have to work on, but there is a certain amount of freedom in how we do it."
With a doctorate in physics, now working on developing new programs for computational fluid dynamics at Ames Research Center, Richard Lockwood distinguishes between the relative latitude of working in "fundamental" and "applied" or project research; it is the engineers working in fundamental research who enjoy the greater freedom to do what interests them. "We're expected to just go out and try to push the frontiers back wherever we can," he explains, "and management tells us which parts of the frontier they'd like to see pushed back." Lockwood's own boss "isolates us pretty well, lets us do pretty much what we want. The freedom we get and the support, in terms of equipment and facilities that we get make the job fun enough that you can afford to give up the bigger salary" offered by industry. NASA-as experienced at Ames Research Center-"has got to be one of the better places for someone who wants to be a research person," thinks Abraham Bauer; the agency "does give freedom to people ... to work up to their maximum capability. And the problems are challenging."
 Another "research person" at Ames, Thomas Swain, adds: "We have an opportunity which may not be appreciated by some of the young engineers as much as it should be, and that is [that] there are so many different things going on in the center, so many different disciplines-that [you have] the opportunity to look around, if . . . the work that you're doing just isn't quite as exciting to you as what you see over in that other building [and] . . . to follow your bent within the organization. I've seen a number of people do that with marvelous benefits to their careers, because they not only get to follow what they're interested in, but by the time they've made a few changes, they've broadened their background." Swain thinks that "there's a lot more individual work done within NASA" than in industry, the larger proportion of his own work is research he has chosen for himself.
Traces of the older culture of the in-house laboratory have also survived at Marshall Space Flight Center, where Fred Hauser appreciates a "flexibility" and "freedom" that he and others have experienced. "We have extremely talented ambitious, diligent people that are allowed to exercise their diligence and ambition." If Sarah McDonald had her career to do over again, she would still work at Marshall where she has relished "the sense of independence, ability to do the work authority ... decision-making responsibilities, and freedom," all of which she doubts she would have had working in industry.
There are even engineers who question the notion of bureaucratization's baleful consequences. Willie Miller and Hank Smith at Kennedy Space Center deny that they have been plagued by an excess of bureaucratic procedure, while Smith points out, what has become increasingly true of much of the agency, that "NASA is really a technical management organization." Part of Miller's and Smith's tolerance of bureaucratic procedures may be due to the fact that they were interviewed after the Challenger accident, one effect of which was serious criticism of NASA's safety procedures. Thus does Derek Roebling even find merit in bureaucratization: "I think the good part was [that one] of those things that came out of [the post Challenger investigation] was the stronger emphasis [on] and formation of separate safety functions. I think those kinds of checks and balances are good."
The attributes of their NASA careers that have most inspired Philip Siebold and Michael Goldbloom are attributes that do not readily succumb to a single, dramatic failure. Still, Siebold's almost boisterous enthusiasm might have been somewhat dampened had he been interviewed after the Challenger accident, and not before. "I'm happy with NASA," declared Siebold from the vantage of pre-Challenger Johnson Space Center; "it's been good to me. I've enjoyed it. I like what I do. I guess the fact that we are the drivers, really, rather than the contractors. We're sitting at the top of the table. So, let's face it, we all like power. And you have a little more power if you're at NASA . . . we probably work harder than anybody. We're more dedicated hard driving. We never care how many hours we work, and what needs to be done we go out end do it."
Goldbloom offers a somewhat more philosophical appreciation than Siebold who exudes the "can do" attitude of NASA during the height of the Apollo program when Siebold worked with launch operations at Kennedy Space Center. Notwithstanding a considerable loss of "esprit de corps" and bureaucratizaton, Goldbloom  thinks that NASA's exploratory mission provides "intellectual content" to work that could not be found in industry, which, he thinks, is generally the better employer. Wherever engineers can still do hands-on work there is an "excitement" that comes from "working in the new frontier areas of technology." For Goldbloom, innovative engineering at NASA combines with "the sheer exploration ... that appeals to Americans-wanting to see what's on the other side of the hill, wanting to probe the unknown, expanding man's vista to new frontiers" that has made NASA, in Goldbloom's experience, a place "where for the most part it's a sheer joy to work."
Few of the engineers we interviewed allude to job security as a reason for staying with NASA; and, in any event, it is arguable whether jobs are ultimately more secure in the government, which has its own "reductions in force." On the other hand, many an engineer's job was lost in the early 1970s post-Apollo letdown in the aerospace industry. The only engineer who outright explained his choice of working for NASA as the desire for a secure, government job is also the only engineer we interviewed who remembers having been raised in a level of affluence that included servants, nannies, and private tutors. For most of the engineers of the Apollo era, establishing themselves in an engineering career was in itself an enormous achievement.
Beneficiaries of one of the great engines of social change-war-this generation succeeded in crossing the great American divide between the working class and the salaried middle class. Many did so consciously, purposefully choosing engineering as their vehicle. Having done so, they became ready recruits in another war, a war to preserve the bi-polar world that survived the conflagration of World War II. Footsoldiers in John F. Kennedy's "world-wide struggle ... to preserve and promote" American ideals against the "adversaries of freedom," these men and women made careers in the midst of a battle to exploit technology in the peaceful quest of American supremacy in the air and in outer space.
Before the end of that momentous decade in which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the armies of the U.S. aerospace industry succeeded in meeting Kennedy's challenge, the battleground had begun to shift under their feet. The idealism with which the 1960s opened turned sour before the decade was out. The era that began with the election of John F. Kennedy ended in the killing fields of Cambodia and Viet Nam, on the pavement at Kent State University, and in the corridors of Washington's Watergate hotel and office complex. 1 Success became as much a matter of survival as of achievement, whether in politics or in organizational life-both of which would have more to do with the nature of these engineers careers than they could have imagined. The nation abandoned the battle for supremacy in space, partly because it was never wholly clear what-beyond Apollo-supremacy meant. Even though the Soviet Union began its virtual! continuous occupation of its orbiting space station Salyut in 1971, as of 1989 the probability of a U.S. orbiting station being deployed in space by the mid-1990s was by no means certain. No policy existed for the demobilization of the troops who had fought in Kennedy's moral equivalent of war, men and women who were left stranded to cope with the vast machinery of institutional survival.
 On the 20th anniversary of the Apollo landing, another president issued a call for another great adventure in space: a return to the Moon and a human expedition to Mars. But the magic of that earlier challenge is gone: the Challenger accident in January 1986, the intractability of federal budgetary politics, and the confusion surrounding the question of this country's future place in the world have produced a growing policy debate about the purpose and means of a continuing American role in space.2 Skeptics demur, and believers take heart, urging the nation to ensure once again that a new generation of men and women well trained in science and engineering will be both ready and inspired to risk their personal aspirations and careers on another bold adventure beyond our planet.
1. On April 30,1970 U.S. and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese staging areas. Four days later violence erupted during an antiwar demonstration at Kent State University in Ohio, and National Guard troops opened fire on students; four were killed and eleven wounded. On June 17,1972 five men were arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. They turned out to have been working for the Committee to Reelect the President (Richard M. Nixon). In 1974 the House voted articles of impeachment against Nixon for White House efforts to "coverup" its role in the break-in. Nixon resigned from office August 9 in anticipation of the House action. The Viet Nam war nominally ended with the signing of the Paris Peace accords in January 27, 1973; the end of the U.S. military draft was announced that same day, and the last U.S. troops left at the end of March.
2. See, for example, Radford Byerly, Jr., ed., Space Policy Reconsidered (Boulder: University of Colorado, 1989).