In the US space industry, "go fever" is an informal term used to refer to the overall attitude of being in a rush or hurry to get a project or task done while overlooking potential problems or mistakes. "Go fever" results from both individual and collective aspects of human behavior. It is due to the tendency as individuals to be overly committed to a previously chosen course of action based on time and resources already expended (sunk costs) despite reduced or insufficient future benefits, or even considerable risks. It is also due to general budget concerns and due to the desire of members of a team not to be seen as the one who is not equally committed to the team's goals or to be the one interfering with the team's progress or success.
The term was coined after the Apollo 1 fire in 1967 and has been referred to in subsequent NASA incidents such as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.
"Go fever" can also be similar to the groupthink phenomenon, where a group may end up making a bad decision for the sake of cordiality and maintaining the group's atmosphere; coined by the social psychologist Irving Janis in 1972.
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- NASA's Safety Culture (archived at the Internet Archive)
- Hanks, Tom (Executive Producer) (1998). From the Earth to the Moon (DVD). HBO.
- The Nation: NASA's Curse?; 'Groupthink' Is 30 Years Old, And Still Going Strong
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