Press Release

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting March 13, 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
March 13, 2000
Filed under

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on March 13, 2000. Mr. Goldin attended the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

B/Holz: Mr. Holz reported that on March 10, 2000, KPMG and NASA agreed
to cease work under the Integrated Financial Management Project (IFMP)
contract. KPMG is expected to coordinate with cognizant NASA personnel
for the shutdown of work. The only KPMG activity to be performed is the
sustaining support associated with the Early Budget system. Other than
the information provided herein, NASA employees and its contractors shall
not divulge to any other individuals or parties any information regarding
this action or KPMG’s performance under the IFMP contract. Further
guidance will be transmitted to cognizant NASA personnel.

E/Reese: Mr. Reese reported that NASA will fully participate in the
Society of Women Engineers Conference, June 27-July 1, 2000. The
conference will take place at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in
Washington, D.C. NASA will exhibit and recruit at the Career Fair,
provide demonstrations at the Open Technical Exchange, and have
high-level representation on workshop panels. Code E is leading the
Agency’s support of the conference and will be asking for the support of
other Headquarters Codes, as well as the Centers. The Agency’s Federal
Women’s Program Manager, Sharon Wagner, will be leading this activity.

F/Novak: Ms. Novak reported that Code F has received hiring plans for FY
2000 planning. 20-25 percent are planned to be other than permanent
hires). Code F will be tracking progress monthly. 2) An Office of
Management and Budget (OMB)/NASA workforce review is in progress. OMB is
interested in NASA’s implementation of new hiring practices.

W/Gross: Ms. Gross reported that on March 6, the owner of Electronic
Components & Fasteners North (ECFN), Deltona, Florida, pled guilty to a
one-count indictment for making a false statement with regard to the
conformance of fasteners sold to NASA and the Department of Defense.
Various lots of fasteners sold to prime contractors, including United
Space Alliance, the Space Shuttle operations contractor, failed to meet
specifications when tested, had no certifications of compliance by ECFN’s
supplier, or had no traceability to the manufacturer or origin.

Y/Asrar: Dr. Asrar reported on the increasing demand for 12 to 18 months
climate forecasting, based on the Ocean Topography Experiment
(TOPEX)/Poseidon observations by the commodity and energy sector. The
Office of Earth Science is making the results available with the caveat
that these are experimental results, not operational forecasts.

P/Wilhide: Ms. Wilhide reported on the following items: 1) Five NASA
stories, relating to NASA discoveries or activities, were in Friday’s
(March 10) Washington Post. The most prominent story was a page 3 feature
generated by the Thursday, March 9, Space Science Update on the Solar
Heliospheric Observatory’s (SOHO) new ability to forecast solar storms
many days in advance. The story on the McDonald report findings had lesser
prominence and was buried further into the front section. The “Style and
Weekend” sections also contained major reviews on the new movie, “Mission
to Mars.” 2) NASA had a high-level of interest about today’s (March 13)
release of the “Project Management in NASA by the Mars Climate Orbiter
Mishap Investigation Board” and “Faster, Better, Cheaper” reports.

U/Nicogossian: Dr. Nicogossian reported that the Office of Life and
Microgravity Sciences and Applications has completed an interagency
agreement with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke to work together in the areas of spinal cord injury, plasticity,
and rehabilitation. This collaboration includes joint sponsorship of a
3-year study titled, “Applications of Robotics to Neuromuscular
Adaptations.” In addition, the two agencies have agreed to cosponsor a
series of six workshops, beginning in April and running through August
2001, to bring together NIH and NASA-sponsored scientists and technology
developers to identify the most promising areas for this collaboration.

R/Venneri: Mr. Venneri reported that DFRC did a job “well done” in
preparing for Mr. Goldin’s visit.

K/Thomas: Mr. Thomas thanked JPL for a fine job of hosting the Small
Business Technology Conference. Over 1,000 attended, and the speakers
were well received. Mr. Thomas also thanked all of the Centers for their

J/Sutton: Mr. Sutton reported that the last of the Agencywide Security
Rollout briefings was held this morning at Headquarters. The rollout has
concluded and every Center and now Headquarters have been briefed.
AO/Holcomb participated in many of the rollouts. The feedback received
from the rollouts has been positive. 2) Mr. Sutton provided each
Official-in-Charge with a printout listing of any old or unresolved OIG
(Office of Inspector General) audit recommendations under their purview.
Meetings are being arranged to focus on old, unresolved OIG audit

Z/Garver: Ms. Garver reported on the following items: 1) The updated
Strategic Management Handbook has been published and distributed. Please
inform the Office of Policy and Plans if additional copies are needed.
2) Ms. Garver thanked Codes K, FE, L, and Y for supporting last week’s
visit to Wyoming. 3) The NASA Advisory Council will meet on March 16
and 17, at Headquarters.

AE/Keegan: Mr. Keegan reported that a key part of responding to the
recommendations of the “Project Management in NASA by the Mars Climate
Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board” and “Faster, Better, Cheaper” reports
would involve the Progam Management Council (PMC) Working Group chaired
by Carolyn Griner. The PMC will need the cooperation of the Centers and
Functional Offices at Headquarters in making their members available over
the next couple of months.

C/Christensen: Mr. Christensen reported on the following items: 1) He
thanked Codes AO and J for the security briefings. 2) Mr. Christensen
provided an update on the new security procedures and magnetometers. He
met with the NASA security guards to discuss courteousness and
professionalism towards NASA staff entering the building, once the
magnetometers are in operation. 3) He urged everyone to take advantage
of a “Managing Human Resources” course being offered for supervisors. The
course was developed as a result of the training needs assessment
conducted on Headquarters employees. The course was developed by civil
servants, for civil-service supervisors, and taught by civil-service

L/Heffernan: Mr. Heffernan reported that several hearings are scheduled
on the Hill-March 15, House Appropriations; March 22 Senate Commerce
Hearing; March 30, House Appropriations; and, April 13, Senate
Appropriations. There will be another House Appropriations hearing
probably in early April, but the date has not been set.

2. AI/Mulville

The Program Management Council meeting on the International Space Station
(ISS) Propulsion Module that was scheduled for today will be rescheduled
for a later date. Due to the hearing schedule, the Headquarters Quality
Council meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, March 23, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Dr. Mulville clarified the process for scheduling meetings and events
with the Administrator. For meeting requests, a completed NASA Form 1682
and background material must be submitted to the Administrator’s office 2
days before the actual meeting or event takes place. It is imperative
that the requestor provides the background material. Many times requests
have been received for a meeting with no back-up material. Therefore, if
the background material is not submitted with the meeting request, the
meeting may be cancelled.

3. Center Reports

DFRC/Petersen: Mr. Petersen thanked Mr. Goldin, Sam Venneri, and Ed
Heffernan for Friday’s (March 10) visit.

GRC/Campbell: Mr. Campbell reported that the construction and checkout
of the new Ballistic Impact Lab has been completed, and the Lab is now
fully operational. This world-class facility was developed primarily to
test novel aircraft engine containment concepts, but it can also be used
to conduct other high-energy impact testing for problems such as flywheel
rotor containment, space propulsion turbopump containment, and aircraft
engine blade foreign-object damage. A key component of the Lab is the
Large Gas Gun, which can accelerate projectiles weighing several pounds
to velocities over 1500 ft./sec. GRC now has a world-class facility for
ballistic impact testing, which will play a vital role in various NASA
programs, including the UltraSafe Propulsion Project (Aerospace
Propulsion and Power Base Research and Technology Program) and the
Aviation Safety Project. Funding to construct this facility was provided
by the High Speed Research (Enabling Propulsion Materials) Project and
the UltraSafe Propulsion Project.

JSC/Abbey: Mr. Abbey reported on the following items: 1) The next
Shuttle launch is scheduled for no earlier than April 17. 2) Zarya and
Unity are doing well. 3) The Service Module is on schedule for a July
launch. 4) The meeting with the Russians went very well last week.

KSC/Bridges: Mr. Bridges reported that KSC hosted a very successful FIRST
South East Regional competition with 29 teams composing of 1,300 kids and
2,500 people attending.

LaRC/Freeman: Mr. Freeman reported that LaRC recently completed clinical
trials of a system to monitor fetal heart rate with the Morehouse School
of Medicine, the Encino/Tarzana Medical Center, and the Eastern Virginia
Medical School. The fetal heart monitor is particularly targeted at
mothers with health or other potential birthing problems and who cannot
get to a doctor on a regular basis.

SSC/Estess: Mr. Estess reported on the following items: 1) Senator Lott
(R-MS) will visit SSC on March 17th, to attend the Boeing dedication
ceremony for the new RS-68 Engine Assembly Facility. 2) Mr. Estess also
provided a summary of the various test activities at SSC.

4. A/Goldin

Mr. Goldin congratulated Dr. Asrar for his election into the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Next, Mr. Goldin stated
that he enjoyed his visit last Friday to DFRC. He further
commented that DFRC is the place for flight-testing research and that
DFRC should be involved from the beginning if a program involves flight
research. Mr.Goldin stated that flight-certified termination systems
also need to be incorporated in all vehicles.

Mr. Goldin announced that he will spend a day at JSC, KSC, and MSFC to
discuss NASA safety. Mr. Goldin also announced that the Safety Mission
and Assurance (SM&A) organization at DFRC is independent, and he supports
the same approach across the Agency. He stated that further details are
forthcoming from the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA). Mr.
Goldin also congratulated DFRC for having a first-class range safety

Mr. Goldin emphasized that funding concerns are no excuse for not doing
the right thing. He also discussed the release of the “Space Shuttle
Independent Assessment Team,” Project Management in NASA by the Mars
Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board,” and “Faster, Better,
Cheaper” reports and stated that every NASA manager should read these
reports. Mr. Goldin said that a press statement will be released
regarding these reports.

Mr. Goldin’s safety topic for the day was NASA Lessons Learned. Mr.
Goldin shared a quote by Philosoper George Santayana, “Those who cannot
remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Mr. Goldin provided the
following example of lessons learned concerning the DC-XA Clipper Graham
incident: In 1996, the mishap investigation board for the incident
identified the need for rigorous technical program reviews and improved
independent verification of the program/project management process. Two
years later, the mishap investigation board report for the Lewis
spacecraft mission also emphasized the need for an improved technical
review process. Again, a few months ago, the mishap investigation team
for the Mars Climate Orbiter, in their Phase I report, identified the
need for improved independent technical reviews on mission critical
components. Also, NPG 7120.5A requires all programs and projects to
review and apply significant lessons learned at appropriate milestones.
Mr. Goldin commented that NASA project managers are not learning from
past mistakes and that must change. At NASA, these errors are
unacceptable. He stated that the OSMA maintains a lessons-learned web
site to facilitate the capture and sharing of



  • 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
  • cc:
  • 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.