Status Report

Letter from KSC Center Director to all KSC employees regarding recent Strategic Retreat by KSC management

By SpaceRef Editor
September 14, 2001
Filed under ,



September 14, 2001


TO: All KSC Civil Service Employees

FROM: AA/Director

SUBJECT: Strategic Retreat

As many of you know, the Senior Management Team (SMT) scheduled a Strategic Retreat this week, September 11-13, 2001, to discuss the KSC vision and strategically map the future for our Center. This annual retreat, usually held on-site, was scheduled at a conference center in Vero Beach. Like each of you, our activities were interrupted and our lives changed shortly after we arrived in Vero Beach and learned of the tragic events that occurred the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. As the enormity of the situation became apparent, we decided to return home.

Since our leaders with delegated responsibility were so effective in running the Center
in the wake of the tragedy, the SMT decided to continue with some of the strategic activities while sequestered in the Headquarters’ Fourth Floor Conference Room. Our planned events for these days were reprioritized and rearranged, and our strategic planning time was significantly reduced. Needless to say, it was difficult to focus; but as requested by our President and Administrator, we did our best to concentrate on the work at hand. In the coming days and weeks, the tragic events of September 11 will continue to be in the forefront of our minds. Still, each of us has important work to do and I ask that you perform your duties with the same safety-focus and attention to detail that have become KSC’s hallmark.

For this reason, I’d like to share some of the outcomes of our strategic planning activities. As mentioned in previous correspondence, we are currently supporting the NASA Strategic Resources Review (SRR). The SRR activity, which is a direct result of the President’s “Blueprint for New Beginnings,” is assessing the Agency’s priorities and core capabilities for the future. In addition, current Federal budget projections, coupled with significant NASA program overruns (e.g., International Space Station), have forced our Agency to reassess the way we do business. Every Enterprise and Center at NASA have been asked to explore candidate activities to find cost savings, to increase our strategic partnerships, and to increase our reliance on others. We identified several opportunities, and have focused our attention on three major initiatives that could have the highest potential impact for KSC:

  • Investigate potential partnerships with Academia to form a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)/Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) organization to support our Spaceport and
    Range Technology initiatives. As you know, we are already partnering with the Florida Space Research Institute and its lead university, the University of Florida, in SERPL for some of our science and technology business lines.

  • Investigate Space Shuttle privatization options and strategies for KSC to tailor our activities to support this initiative

  • Investigate establishing a quasi-governmental Federal Spaceport Authority for KSC/CCAS to act as an industrially funded host, providing reimbursable services to NASA, Air Force, Spaceport Florida Authority (SFA), and commercial interests.

This is a time of tremendous change in the world, and it is also a time of change within the Agency. Change is a part of our culture at KSC, with the SRR just the latest stimulus. We now must refine our strategies for achieving our vision of the future and identify those critical next steps to get us there. Many of you may be thinking, “here we are again” and “we’ve been through this.” You are right, but this time we are way ahead of the game – we know the future we want. As a result of our previous strategic planning, our vision, and the capabilities each of you have demonstrated, KSC is poised to respond, influence the Agency’s leadership, and map the future. We still have work to do to refine the details of these initiatives, and any others. We’ll keep you informed as plans evolve.

As we all witnessed on Tuesday, there are powerful forces of evil at work in our world. We, on the other hand, stand for all that is good for humankind. We seek to explore this awesome universe created for us to find new truths and answers to problems we have on Earth. We work with an international community of like-minded peoples and truly appreciate the strength of diversity from this partnership. Clearly, change is both a danger and an opportunity facing the Agency, but done correctly, positive changes can help us move forward to the bright future that we envision.

In summary, as we reflect on the tragic events of this past week, we believe we must refocus our efforts to achieve our bright vision of the future and take the next steps. Please know that our priority is to assure the safety and security of our flight hardware assets; and, more importantly, our most precious resource–our workforce. We are counting on your continued vigilance. As always, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to any of you to help you through this difficult time. I also encourage you to discuss any questions, concerns, or ideas regarding our strategic planning or SRR activities with your Senior Managers and provide feedback through your management channels.

/Original Signed By/

Roy D. Bridges, Jr.



SpaceRef staff editor.