Press Release

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting February 7, 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
February 7, 2000
Filed under

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on February 7, 2000. Mr. Goldin attended the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

M/Rothenberg: Mr. Rothenberg reported that the Shuttle Radar Topography
Mission (SRTM) is ready for launch. The launch is scheduled for Friday,
February 11, at 12:30 p.m.

Z/Kraemer: Dr. Kraemer reported that Lori Garver is hosting a group of
external aerospace policy specialists today at Headquarters for a
presentation of the Administration’s FY 2001 budget.

P/Cleggett: Ms. Cleggett reported on the following items: 1) The STS-99
crew will arrive at KSC today. 2) The Budget Press Conference will be
held today in the auditorium.

F/Novak: Ms. Novak reported on the following items: 1) She expressed
her appreciation to SSC for hosting a review of the SSC education program
last week. The review indicated that SSC is making major contributions
to NASA’s education program. The Gulf Coast Education Initiative is an
especially noteworthy project. 2) SSC, in cooperation with the
Mississippi Band of Choctaws, also hosted the education directors from
each Center for a meeting to review progress on implementation of NASA’s
Implementation Plan for Education. 3) Ms. Novak also expressed a
special appreciation to David Powe and Nancy Sullivan for hosting the
meeting and to all of the Centers for their active participation.

Y/Asrar: Dr. Asrar reported that he is looking forward to a successful
SRTM launch.

S/Weiler: Dr. Weiler reported that there was a successful burn by the
Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) on February 3. NEAR is now only
4200 miles from EROS which we hope to orbit on February 14.

U/Nicogossian: Dr. Nicogossian reported that a contract for After Hours
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services has been negotiated with the
After Hours Counseling Services, a division of Crisis Connection of
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Once activated, the toll-free number will be
800-438-3115. This is the first time ever that all NASA Centers will
have access to the EAP services 24 hours a day. Up until now, only
Headquarters, GSFC, LaRC, and ARC have had after hour coverage. The need
for this service was heightened with the implementation of the 24-hour
Depression Screening Survey last year.

Q/Gregory: Mr. Gregory reported that the SRTM has been reviewed with no
safety issues.

2. AI/Dr. Mulville

Dr. Mulville reported on the following items: 1) The NASA Budget Press
Conference is scheduled for today, February 7, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
The press conference will be shown on NASA Select. All
Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters Offices are encouraged to attend. 2)
The pre-registration audits for Phase 2 of ISO 9001 will be conducted
this week at Headquarters starting today. 3) Mr. Goldin will testify
before the House Committee on Science at a Posture Hearing on Wednesday,
February 16. 4) The Senior Management Council meeting is scheduled for
Friday, February 18. The main topic for this meeting is for the
Functional Offices to present the status of their Functional Leadership
Plans and FY 2002 Budget Guidance. 5) The Program Management Council
(PMC) Quarterly Status Review is scheduled for Thursday, February 17,
from 1 to 4 p.m.

3. Center Reports

GRC/Campbell: Dr. Campbell reported that a GRC and contractor team from
U.S. Flywheel Systems and Texas A&M University has successfully spun a
development unit flywheel module to 60,000 rpm. The flywheel was
levitated by magnetic bearings to reduce the losses and increase
efficiency and lifetime. Demonstrating a flywheel at 60,000 rpm is a
critical milestone for the development of a flywheel system for the
International Space Station (ISS). At 60,000 rpm, flywheel technology is
competitive with batteries as a primary energy storage system. Flywheels
are being developed as an alternate replacement for the NiH2 (nickel
hydride) batteries currently on the ISS.

GSFC/Diaz: Mr. Diaz thanked Roy Bridges for hosting his visit last week,
and he is looking forward to visiting LaRC tomorrow, February 8.

JPL/Stone: Dr Stone reported that he is looking forward to a successful
SRTM launch.

JSC/Abbey: Mr. Abbey reported on the following items: 1) The General
Designers Review will be held in Russia this week. 2) The ISS Mission
Sequence Test (MST) in the control center ran for over 60 hours with very
successful results.

MSFC/Stephenson: Mr. Stephenson reported on the following items: 1) Mr.
Stephenson thanked Fred Gregory and Jim Jennings for their participation
in the successful Black History Month Leadership Forum on February 1, at
MSFC. 2) He also thanked Roy Estess and his staff for providing a good
show with a Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) green run for full duration
on February 4. Two other tests are scheduled-fastrack and aerospike-at
full power. 2) MSFC is also looking forward to the SRTM launch.

SSC/Estess: Mr. Estess reported on the following items: 1) Mr. Estess
expressed his delight to Ms. Novak in hosting the education personnel.
2) Mr. Estess briefly discussed last week’s visit by MSFC and
Headquarters personnel to review SSME operations.

4. Mr. Goldin

Mr. Goldin discussed the following three topics: 1) safety and
reliability analytical tools and techniques; 2) restructuring the NASA
workforce, and 3) NASA’s budget. Regarding safety and reliability
analytical tools, Mr. Goldin discussed Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
(FMEA), Fault Tree Analysis, and Probabilistic Risk Assessment. Mr.
Goldin provided a brief description of each analytical approach but
discussed, in more detail, the Fault Tree technique. Mr. Goldin stated
that the Fault Tree Analysis was first used in 1964. It was not used for
the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) but after the recommendation by the MCO
Review Board, it was used for the Mars Polar Lander (MPL). Mr. Goldin
stressed that the Fault Tree approach is not high technology or difficult
to learn, and it should be conducted early in the project prior to
flight. Mr. Goldin wants senior managers to use these analytical
approaches to find out what could go wrong with a mission instead of what
is right with a mission. He recognizes that it is difficult to apply
this “beneficial pessimism” to our own creations, but it is important to
become familiar with these three tools for every mission. [Mr. Goldin
would like for each Center Director and Associate Administrator to assess
their staff’s understanding of these tools and respond back to him].

Functional Associate Administrators should also become familiar with
these tools. [Mr. Goldin requested that Vicki Novak integrate these
three tools into the program and project management courses offered by
Mr. Goldin also stated that the Program Management Council will
not approve any programs or projects unless the use of these tools is
demonstrated. Mr. Goldin stated that these analyses are probably the
most important of all topics that he has discussed on safety to date
because these tools can be used from the conceptualization of a mission
to its full operation. [Mr. Goldin tasked Fred Gregory to send out a
communication to all employees and contractors regarding the use of these
tools in conducting NASA business.]
He further stated that these tools
and our understanding of them are about our future.

Next, Mr. Goldin discussed restructuring the NASA workforce. Mr. Goldin
announced that NASA will hire 1,850 people in the next 2 years. There
will also be a change in the method of NASA’s hiring practices. Mr.
Goldin wants NASA to use Interagency Personnel Agreements (IPA’s),
temporary personnel, transfers, and part-time workers, as well as
permanent civil servants, to hire “the best and the brightest in the
Nation.” He wants to hire people with leading edge scientific and
information technology skills and wants to take advantage of the
“diversity that America has to offer” in science and engineering. Mr.
Goldin tasked Vicki Novak to monitor results of the Institutional Program
Office’s hiring practices because a significant number of new hires will
not be permanent civil service employees. He believes that the new
hiring practices will be difficult for traditionalists, but will
revitalize our workforce. Note: Vicki Novak sent a letter to each
Center requesting them to provide their plans for implementing this new
practice. Plans are due 2/22/00. Next, Mr. Goldin discussed NASA’s
budget. He announced that NASA’s budget will go from the current $13.6
billion in FY 2000 to $15.6 billion by FY 2005. It continues our
commitment to safety but also included are several exciting initiatives.
This budget represents increases to Science, Aeronautics, and Technology
(SAT) budgets. For example, in FY 1992, the SAT budget was 31 percent of
NASA’s budget. Today, it is 41 percent and in FY 2005 it will be 51
percent. In conclusion, Mr. Goldin announced the following senior
management changes at Headquarters: 1) Gen. Armstrong will be the Senior
Advisor to the Administrator. Gen. Armstrong will concentrate on NASA
partnerships with academia and other Government agencies. [Mr. Goldin
requested that each Center assign a lead executive for academia to work
with Gen. Armstrong.]
2) The Office of the Chief Technologist will merge
with the Office of Aero-Space Technology. Chief Technologist Sam Venneri
will retain that position while becoming the Associate Administrator for
Aero-Space Technology; 3) Brian Keegan, formerly from GSFC, will be the
new NASA Chief Engineer; 4) Orlando Figueroa, formerly from GSFC, will be
NASA’s first Deputy Chief Engineer for Systems Engineering, and 5) Mary
Cleave, formerly from GSFC, will be the Deputy Associate Administrator
for Strategic Planning for the Office of Earth Science. Mr. Goldin
commended Mike Mann for his efforts in leading the Headquarters ISO
certification process.



Officials-in-Charge of NASA Headquarters Offices:
AI/Dr. Mulville
AB/Ms. Tagg
AC/Gen. Armstrong
AE/Mr. Keegan
AJ/Mr. Tam
AO/Mr. Holcomb
AS/Dr. Olsen
B/Mr. Holz
C/Mr. Christensen
E/Mr. Reese
F/Ms. Novak
G/Mr. Frankle
H/Mr. Luedtke
I/Mr. Schumacher
J/Mr. Sutton
K/Mr. Thomas
L/Mr. Heffernan
M/Mr. Rothenberg
P/Ms. Wilhide
Q/Mr. Gregory
R/Mr. Venneri
S/Dr. Weiler
U/Dr. Nicogossian
W/Ms. Gross
Y/Dr. Asrar
Z/Ms. Garver

Directors, NASA Centers:
ARC/Dr. McDonald
DFRC/Mr. Petersen
GRC/Mr. Campbell
GSFC/Mr. Diaz
JSC/Mr. Abbey
KSC/Mr. Bridges
LaRC/Dr. Creedon
MSFC/Mr. Stephenson
SSC/Mr. Estess

Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
Dr. Stone
A/Ms. Roberts
AB/Ms. Saldana
AE/Ms. Moore
AI/Ms. Shaeffer
AI/Ms. Bloxon
AO/Ms. Wissinger
AS/Ms. Simms
AT/Ms. Landrus
CIC/Ms. Grimes
CIC/Ms. Hoover
CIC/Ms. Coates
CIC/Ms. Fenner
CIC/Ms. Maynor
C-3/Ms. Soper

SpaceRef staff editor.