Status Report

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting 2 Jan 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 2, 2001
Filed under ,

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on January 2, 2001. Mr. Goldin attended the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

P/Wilhide: Ms. Wilhide reported on the following: 1) Science magazine
credited NASA-led teams with 3 of the 10 most important scientific
breakthroughs of the year 2000: the Mars Global Surveyor’s evidence of
liquid water on Mars; the creation of the most detailed map of the early
universe, developed by BOOMERANG data; and the Near Earth Asteroid
Rendezvous Shoemaker spacecraft’s rendezvous with the asteroid Eros. 2)
This year, NASA’s customer-service rating, as measured by the National
Partnership for Reinventing Government, rose from 80 percent in 1999 to
86 percent in 2000. NASA received the highest score of any Federal
agency, higher even than the U.S. Mint’s rating among coin collectors.

Z/Garver: Ms. Garver thanked KSC/John Halsama for working over the
holiday with a member of the NASA Advisory Council who was visiting

AO/Holcomb: Mr. Holcomb reminded everyone about the memo he sent to
political appointees regarding Federal records.

W/Gross: Ms. Gross reported that Frank LaRocca, Counsel to the Inspector
General at NASA, recently received the Year 2000 Award for Training from
the Council of Counsels to the Inspectors General. The award recognizes
Mr. LaRocca’s role in organizing legal training for the Office of
Inspector General counsels Nationwide. The training, which occurred on
October 18, 2000, included subject matter experts on such topics as
electronic communications and privacy, Government paperwork elimination,
Inspector General subpoenas, money laundering and forfeiture, and
whistleblower protection.

AS/Olsen: Dr. Olsen reported on the following: 1) The January edition
of the National Geographic magazine is featuring (including the cover)
“2001, The Body in Space–Surviving the Odyssey.” It is an outstanding
article about NASA’s Biomedical program.

AE/Keegan: Mr. Keegan reminded everyone about the Webcast scheduled for
January 11, 2000, to discuss the NASA Integrated Action Team (NIAT)

C/Christensen: Mr. Christensen reported that transition activities are
underway. He expressed his appreciation for the support given by
Associate Administrators and Center Directors in preparing materials.
Mr. Christensen requested that any requests for information from the
transition team be forwarded to him so that he can keep the Administrator

2. AI/Dr. Mulville

Dr. Mulville welcomed everyone back to a new and challenging year at

He also thanked Chris Christensen and support staff for overseeing the
renovation work in the Office of the Administrator during the holidays.

3. Center Reports

GRC/Campbell: Mr. Campbell reported that on December 12, 2000, the Deep
Space 1 spare flight ion thruster, designed and partially built at GRC
under the NASA Solar-Electric Propulsion Technology Application Readiness
(NSTAR) project, achieved the goal of operating for 150 percent of its
design life. This goal was achieved after processing 125 kg of xenon
propellant and required operating the thruster for 13,994.75 hours. The
thruster has been under test at JPL since October of 1998 and reached
this goal 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

GSFC/Diaz: Mr. Diaz reported that Dr. Walter E. Fauntroy, former
District of Columbia Congressman, will speak at GSFC on January 9, 2001,
in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Headquarters
employees are invited to attend. 2) GSFC/Joanne Simpson’s articles were
published in a special edition of the American Meteorological Society’s

JSC/Abbey: Mr. Abbey reported on the following items: 1) The Space
Shuttle will be rolled out to the pad this morning. 2) The STS-98
Flight Readiness Review is scheduled for January 10. January 19 is the
scheduled STS-98 launch date. 3) The Space Station is doing well
on-orbit. The crew is in great spirits. Mr. Goldin inquired about the
wiring problem. Mr. Abbey stated that they are working the issue and
plans are in place to use new cables for each mission in the future.

4. Mr. Goldin

Mr. Goldin wished a Happy New Year to all. He noted that this will be a
busy year for NASA with 14 launches and 18 space walks planned in
connection with the International Space Station. Mr. Goldin urged NASA’s
Senior Management to focus on safety. He stated that there is very
little room for error and that fixing problems is more important than
maintaining schedules.

Mr. Goldin recommended everyone read two articles that were published in
Scientific American
( The first,
titled “The Triumph of the Light,” focused on optical fiber
communications. According to the article, optical fiber is the only
transmission medium that could come close to meeting the
telecommunications network capacity demand of the future. The second
article, titled, “Making Sense of Modern Cosmology,” discusses theories
in cosmology. Mr. Goldin referred to NASA’s Microwave Anisotropy Probe
(MAP) mission which will measure fluctuations in the temperature of the
cosmic microwave background radiation, and should ultimately reveal the
size, matter content, age, geometry and fate of the universe. He would
like Dr. Weiler and Mr. Diaz to ensure the right reviews are in place to
carry out a successful mission. Mr. Goldin mentioned that NASA should do
more work in the field of high-energy particles physics. He stated that
he is scheduled to speak to the American Astronomical Society in San
Diego and will urge astronomers to take a closer look at high-energy
astronomy including cosmic background and x-ray measurements.

Mr. Goldin concluded by remembering Brian Welch and asked his senior
managers to pay particular attention to their own health in this new
year. He urged them to talk to their employees about the importance of
good health and diet, and strong family bonds.


SpaceRef staff editor.