Press Release

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting December 13, 1999

By SpaceRef Editor
December 13, 1999
Filed under

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on December 13, 1999. Mr. Goldin did not attend
the meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

M/Hawes: Mr. Hawes reported that the Space Shuttle fuel line repairs are
completed. The Thursday, December 16, launch is a go. The launch window
is from 9:18 p.m. to 9:59 p.m.

U/Nicogossian: Dr. Nicogossian reported that the December 1999 front
cover of Physics Today highlights the achievements of researchers in the
Bose-Einstein condensates. The issue includes a feature article on the
latest experimental developments by Professor Wolfgang Ketterle of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Ketterle is one of
the Microgravity Research Program’s principal investigators in the
Fundamental Physics subdiscipline.

S/Huckins: Dr. Huckins reported on the following: 1) The European Space
Agency (ESA) successfully launched the X-ray Multimirror Mission (XMM)
on Friday, December 10. NASA is a partner on two of the instruments.
Code S is looking forward to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing
Mission launch on Thursday, December 16.

Q/Gregory: Mr. Gregory reported that he is confident about the Terra
and HST launches. Mr. Goldin interjected to Mr. Gregory that he should
speak to Mr. Rothenberg and Mr. Abbey again about mission safety for
the two upcoming launches. Mr. Goldin stated that he will support
whatever decision is made. He wants NASA to do the right thing in
terms of the upcoming launches.

Y/Williams: Mr. Williams reported that Code Y is looking forward to
the Terra launch on Thursday.

L/Kerwin: Ms. Kerwin reported on the following: 1) The staff of
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) office will visit JSC today and Rep.
Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and staff will visit JPL tomorrow. Rep. Pickering
(R-MS) will visit SSC tomorrow. The FY 2000 operating plan has cleared
Headquarters and is at Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

K/Thomas: Mr. Thomas reported that Mr. Goldin received the Midwest
Aerospace Consortium of Small Businesses “Outstanding Small Business
Advocate of the Year” award.

AO/Holcomb: Mr. Holcomb reported that, tomorrow, December 14, the Agency
will conduct the final Y2K communication drill. On Wednesday, Codes AO
and M will host a review to validate the steps taken to assure the health
and safety of our high-value spacecraft during the Y2K rollover.

Z/Garver: Ms. Garver reported on the following: 1) The NASA Advisory
Council (NAC) will meet at Headquarters on Tuesday, December 14, and
Wednesday, December 15. The NAC will be reviewing the FY 99 Performance Plan
Metrics, reviewing updates on the Integrated Space Transportation Plan, and
reviewing the International Space Station (ISS) Probability Risk Assessment.
2) NASA’s History Office has published the fourth volume in the “Exploring
the Unknown” history series. This volume documents the history of space
transportation developments. Each of you are invited to a reception tomorrow
evening, in the library, where you can receive your personal copy.

2. AI/Gen. Dailey:

Gen. Dailey reported on the following items: 1) Gen. Dailey reminded
attendees that the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) is meeting at HQ tomorrow and
Wednesday. Associate Administrators (AA) are encouraged to attend the
portion of the meeting that discusses their Enterprises, as the NAC will be
assessing NASA’s FY 1999 performance. A meeting is scheduled for Friday
morning to discuss the final changes to the Strategic Management Handbook.
Each Headquarters code is invited to send a representative. This representative
must have the authority to sign off on the code’s final review of the Handbook.
This will be the final disposition of comments received on the final review.

Mr. Goldin interjected that he has a significant problem with the Strategic
Management Handbook. The Program Management Council (PMC) was set up to
address proper balance between resources and goals. He is concerned that
managers are managing to cost and not to performance. Mr. Goldin commented
that the Handbook is outstanding but carries no substance at senior-level
meetings. Early next year, Mr. Goldin plans to meet with each AA and Center
Director to discuss this issue of cost versus performance.

AI/Gen. Dailey (cont’d)

Thirty years ago this week, on December 12, 1969: Apollo 12 Astronauts
Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr., Richard Gordon, Jr., and Alan Bean held a press
conference at the Manned Spacecraft Center and showed movies and slides of
their recent mission. Bean said the photos of the Moon were realistic, but
those of the Earth were not. He continued by saying, “when you look at the
Earth . . . it kind of sparkles, and you can’t capture it on the film. It’s
sort of like taking a picture of an emerald . . . and hoping to get it.”

3. Center Reports

ARC/McDonald: Dr. McDonald reported on the following items. 1) A host of
distinguished visitors were at ARC for the dedication of the Future Flight
Central. 2) Dr. McDonald will travel to JSC and KSC to complete the
Shuttle Independent Assessment Team (SIAT) report this week.

GRC/Earls: Dr. Earls reported that a recently released training video, “Icing
for Regional and Corporate Pilots” won first place (Merit of Excellence) in the
training category at this year’s All-Ohio International Television and Video
Festival. The video is a 38-minute training aid for regional/ corporate pilots
that GRC developed in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)
and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) to be used as an educational tool on
in-flight aircraft icing. Nearly 600 copies have been sent to the regional
airlines throughout North America and we are now in the process of releasing
it to European regional airlines. The feedback from pilots who have seen it
has been very positive. This video is a prime example of NASA’s lead in the
effort to improve aircraft safety. By presenting information through a dynamic
visual and auditory media, we hope to reduce the fatal accident rate due to
in-flight icing. A copy of the video will be forwarded to General Dailey today.

GSFC/Diaz: Mr. Diaz reported that GSFC is focussing all efforts on the
Terra and HST launches.

JPL/Stone: Dr Stone reported that JPL is looking forward to the Terra launch
on Thursday.

JSC/Abbey: Mr. Abbey reported that Thursday’s launch is set for 9:18 p.m. EDT.
STS-99 will be rolled out to the pad today.

KSC/Bridges: Mr. Bridges reported that the “troops” are ready to go in
preparation for the upcoming launches.

MSFC/Saucier: Mr. Saucier reported on the following: 1) MSFC has delayed, for
6 months, full-scope ISO registration. 2) MSFC’s legal people have obtained
unlimited access to USDI data.

4. Mr. Goldin

As a part of NASA’s safety and health initiative, Mr. Goldin discussed balancing
work and family. He stated that management has to put focus on maintenance as
well as productivity of employees. He continued that supervisors should work to
minimize stressful conditions for employees, such as working on weekends,
working during the holidays, and no quality time with spouses and children.
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SpaceRef staff editor.