Talk:Rockwell International

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Untitled[edit]

"Colins Radios were fitted to 80% of the free world's airliners"

Hey, I didn't know you didn't have to pay to travel during the cold war - or is this a little Povie!!! Harry Potter


Can the author/s of this article shed some light, as to why Rockwell International was blown to smithereens, the way it was (as described in the article)? It just seems like its new owners chopped it up and kept selling it to pocket the cash. Was that the reason for Rockwell's untimely demise, good old greed?

Thanx for your info.

I'm not an author of this article, nor am I a business expert. And although greed may have been part of it, I think index funds and the core competency concept are the major drivers. Rockwell International was a very diverse company, involved in lots of basically unrelated businesses. At least some of these businesses were usually profitable at any given time, which appealed to stock holders. When index funds started to appear in the late 1970's, they attracted the kinds of investors that would otherwise invest in companies like Rockwell. But I imagine that when the core competency concept was introduced in the 1990's, Rockwell's executives had a hard time figuring out what their company's core competency really was. And that, more than anything else, was probably what led to Rockwell's "demise".
This is really outside my area of expertise, so I'm not putting these speculations into the article. I'll leave it to someone else to verify the facts and update the article with the results. --Rick Sidwell 18:16, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The major reason the company broke up is because West won the Cold War. The US reduced its military spending, so there was less of the 'pie' to go around. After the Cold War, viable companies in the defense/space/avionics markets had to either: 1. Get bigger, to easily attract and hold contracts, or 2. Get merged, so you can have access to a steady stream of contracts.

Examples of 'get bigger' during this period are Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed, Honeywell, etc. Rockwell International decided it didn't want to or couldn't get bigger, so starting selling off attractive pieces, leaving only a shell of the former company behind. Galvinfranks 18:28, 7 February 2007 (UTC)Galvin Franks


If I recall correctly, the units were most spun off as new companies to the existing shareholders. They were not sold off for cash. Most of the Rockwell business units had nothing in common product/service-wise. There was no upside to keeping them combined. --12.2.10.242 (talk) 17:37, 26 January 2010 (UTC)


Rockwell Disreputable?[edit]

Many now consider Rockwell International an infamous company that was a pathological liar about the Shuttle. This bad reputation should be considered for this article. The Shuttle never did anything the way it was supposed to and they nearly ruined the US Manned Space Program from 1975 to today. This article is nothing but a pro-Rockwell whitewash of their history and points out no controversies.

Supercool Dude (talk) 22:46, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Need I point out that your desire to discredit a now non-existent conglomerate is also biased? Yes, the article needs a drastic clean-up to remove superfluous wording and subjective points-of-view. However, to go as far as say Rockwell International ruined the space shuttle program is going a little far. Look back a little better in the history books and you will see that Rockwell isn't the only name the pops up. Also, keep in mind that the space shuttles were NEVER intended to be in services as long as they have; you can thank the politicians for that. In the case of the Challenger incident, the cause was due to lack of proper communication. The central fuel tank was not rated to be launched the morning after frost and ice. Yes the article could be written better, but shifting the POV from pro-Rockwell International to anti-Rockwell International will not fix anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.161.86.254 (talk) 14:02, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the Challenger disaster was related to Martin Thiokol and the failure of their O-Rings in cold weather. Additionally I believe that reports indicated that NASA Safety Engineers did not want the launch to go because of the frost, icing and cold temperatures from the night before. Columbia, as we all know, was the result of the impact of foam core at high speed with the leading edge of the Orbiter wing which destroyed heat shielding. Of note is that Boeing actually "owned" the Shuttle program at the time of the Columbia incident. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.236.189.49 (talk) 22:16, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

That's Morton-Thiokol. It was the Morton-Thiokol engineering staff that wanted to stop the launch, as did Thiokol's on-site executive Allan McDonald. NASA SRB Project Manager Lawrence Mulloy browbeat Thiokol's top management in Utah into overruling the engineering staff and approving the launch. Rockwell's leadership, including Shuttle division president Rocco Petrone, also raised concerns, stating that they could not assure that it was safe to launch in those conditions. Rockwell was completely blameless in the loss of Challenger.

By the time Columbia was lost Rockwell's space operations had been taken over by Boeing. The tank that shed the foam was built by Lockheed Martin at a government-owned facility in New Orleans. The wing leading edge that broke was built by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas, although the facility might have been Loral Vought Systems when the part was built, or maybe even LTV. Hard to tell when things change hands like they do. Though you can hardly blame them for building a part that failed when subjected to forces well outside the design specifications. The wing that it was mounted on and subsequently melted was built by Grumman in Bethpage.


Actually, if you want to talk about Rockwell being disreputable, it makes much more sense to go after them for running the nuclear processing facilities at Hanford, WA and Rocky Flats, CO. Lots of dangerous materials escaped into the environment during those days. It has been argued that Rockwell was just the scapegoat, since they were operating the plant under the close scrutiny of the Department of Energy. The Santa Susana Field Laboratory is another mess left behind by a Rockwell division.

Pgramsey (talk) 19:19, 20 February 2016 (UTC)