After spending 20 years orbiting Earth, Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has recorded more than 570,000 images of 30,000 celestial objects. This data has changed the face of astronomy by helping scientists around the world gain a deeper understanding of the universe, and Hubble is now regarded as one of the most important observatories ever built. Hubble’s origins, however, were far from auspicious. When the finished project launched in April of 1990, Hubble began transmitting severely blurred images of the cosmos, crushing the general expectation that HST would outperform any earthbound observatory. Investigation teams later discovered that Hubble could only record blurred images because its primary mirror had been polished into the wrong shape. NASA was able to correct this error during a service mission three years later, and since then, HST has surpassed its performance specifications. Many of the events leading to the misshapen mirror could have been prevented by better managerial practices, better risk identification and better enforcement of Quality Assurance procedures. Ultimately, however, the HST optical systems failure resulted because managers disregarded evidence of threats to mission success while facing significant schedule and budget pressures. This month, we discuss the importance of assigning clear responsibility, ensuring rigorous documentation and remembering the mission during times of crisis.