Norman R. Augustine, the chairman of the Advisory

Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program, is the author of "Augustine's Laws," a caustic commentary on management.

The book by Augustine, a former Army undersecretary with a background in aeronautical engineering, became a best seller in the Pentagon bookstore when it was published in the early 1980s. The following excerpts are from a later version, aimed at a broader readership.

On government programs: They "tend to start slow -- and then tail off."

On organization: "If a sufficient number of management

layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance."

n the rising costs of high technology: "In the year 2054, the entire national defense budget will purchase just one aircraft."

On engineers and complex systems: "It is very expensive to achieve high unreliability. It is not uncommon to increase the cost of an item by a factor of ten for each factor of ten degradation accomplished."

On failure: "When dealing with a multimillion-dollar piece of equipment, the part that fails is always a seven-dollar seal {or} a seven-cent solder joint. . . . The solution? Simply eliminate all low-cost components by making every component a high-cost component."

On setting goals: "One thing is certain: If you try to please everybody, somebody isn't going to like it."

On auditors, inspectors and Monday-morning quarterbacks: "No matter what goes wrong, there will always be somebody who knew it would."