Status Report

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting 20 Nov 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
November 20, 2000
Filed under ,

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on November 20, 2000. Mr. Goldin attended the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

I/Cline: Ms. Cline reported that, as widely reported in the press, the
Russian Cabinet

made a decision on November 16, 2000, to deorbit the Mir space station in
late February 2001. The final details of whether or not a crew will
visit and the timing of a Progress launch prior to deorbit are not yet
available, but should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

W/Gross: Ms. Gross reported that on November 13, a former computer
administrator for a NASA prime contractor, entered a plea of guilty to
four counts of producing and distributing child pornography, receiving
child pornography by computer, and possession of child pornography. As a
result of his guilty plea, the former computer administrator faces up to
168 months of incarceration. Sentencing is set for April 5, 2001. This
investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the NASA Office of
Inspector General, Office of Criminal Investigations, and the U.S.
Customs Service.

Y/Luther: Mr. Luther reported that the Earth Observing (EO-1) satellite
will be launched on November 21 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

F/Novak: Ms. Novak reported on the following: 1) We are announcing the
implementation of a new education program, called the NASA Undergraduate
Student Research Program. During the program’s pilot year which will be
next summer/fall, we expect to place 80-100 students throughout the NASA
Centers. These will be juniors or seniors with academic majors or
coursework concentration in engineering, mathematics, computer science,
or life/physical sciences. The primary benefit of the program is to
provide hands-on research experiences for undergraduate students.
Another very important benefit is to provide NASA with increased access
to a potential future talent pool. The Education Division will fund all
direct program costs. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is partnering
with NASA to coordinate the pilot program. 2) NPG 1000.3, the NASA
Organization Manual, has not been signed by Mr. Goldin yet. We are
incorporating the new Office of Security Management and Safeguards (Code
D) and the changes to Codes A, M, and U. Dr. Mulville has requested that
these packages be presented for signature by the end of November. Your
assistance is appreciated in responding by the respective due dates or

Z/Garver: Ms. Garver reported that the NASA Advisory Council will meet
from November 30 to December 1 at KSC.

Dr. Olsen reported on the following: 1) Kristen J.
Erickson is appointed Acting Deputy Associate Administrator (Management)
for the Office of Biological and Physical Research. Her responsibilities
will include oversight of budgetary, policy, legislative,
commercialization, and integration activities. 2) A recently published
textbook on the modern theory of critical phenomena features the results
from the Lambda Point Experiment (LPE) on the cover. The LPE flew on the
Space Shuttle in 1992. The book is entitled Critical Properties of
Theories by H. Kleinert and V. Schulte-Frohlinde.

K/Thomas: Mr. Thomas thanked everyone for their participation in the
successful “How to Commercialize NASA Technology” course sponsored by the
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

AE/Keegan: Mr. Keegan reported on the webcast scheduled for December
13th from 3:30-5 p.m., at which Mr. Goldin will convey key messages
resulting from an assessment of program and project management practices
as a follow-on to the NASA Integrated Action Team (NIAT) activities. It
will be a high quality video, multimedia event delivered to individual
desktops or to computer equipped conference rooms where small groups
could participate. The preference is for this to not be an auditorium
event. We want to use this as a pilot for future use of learning via the
internet. The ability for live questions and answers submitted by the
Internet will follow an opening “interview” segment of the Administrator
by Peggy Wilhide. We are encouraging each Center to plan follow up
activities, as each of you deem appropriate, such as discussion groups,
to maximize the value of the session. The audience should be those that
express interest in large part, but you may also want to include a target
group of key project managers, line managers, and lead engineers from
your Center. We have asked that your list of participants to be
identified through your training and development organization by November
27. This will give time to ensure adequate preparation for transmission
to each site.

AO/Holcomb: Mr. Holcomb reported that a strategic session is planned
with CISCO in Silicon Valley, California, on December 12, to assess the
NET-readiness of corporations and e-business. Mr. Holcomb encouraged
Center Directors to send a representative.

2. AI/Dr. Mulville

Dr. Mulville reported on the following: 1) The Independent Annual
Reviews for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
and Aviation Systems Capacity (ASC) will be presented to the Program
Management Council today at 1 p.m., in the Program Review Center. 2)
The next Senior Management Council meeting will be held on Friday,
December 8, at NASA HQ. The agenda will be distributed at a later date.
3) There will be a Capital Investment Council meeting on December 7, to
discuss the Office of Management and Budget Proposal on Program/Project
Management, Performance Plan Achievements, and New Initiative Strategies.
The time and location will be distributed later. 4) Dr. Mulville
welcomed his new executive officer Deanna Murphy from the Office of
Management Systems.

3. Center Reports

ARC/McDonald: Dr. McDonald reported on the following: 1) ARC hosted a
senior management team from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to
discuss cooperative research in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and
information technology. The NCI also indicated an interest in having a
permanent presence on the West Coast; namely at ARC–perhaps in the
proposed NASA Research Park.

GRC/Campbell: Mr. Campbell reported on the following: 1) In
preparation for the full time operation of the Plasma Contactor Unit
(PCU) on the International Space Station (ISS), the first PCU was
successfully ignited on orbit. The plasma contractor is a
mission-critical system aboard Space Station designed to control the
Station’s electric potential relative to the surrounding space plasma,
and to prevent arcing and associated damage to thermal coatings. This
successful ignition demonstrates the first use of the PCU, a spin-off
product of electric propulsion research and hardware development, which
was designed and built at the Glenn Research Center. 2) On Thursday,
November 16, the Aerospace Propulsion and Power (APP) Base R&T Program
led by Glenn Research Center hosted an interactive live satellite
broadcast and webcast conference with universities and colleges

JSC/Abbey: Mr Abbey reported that the Flight Readiness Review for STS-97
was held. November 30 was selected as the launch date for the next Space
Shuttle flight to the International Space Station.

MSFC/Stephenson: Mr. Stephenson reported on the following: 1) The
Administrator was in Huntsville last week to accept the Werner von Braun
Space Flight Trophy at the annual von Braun dinner sponsored by the
Huntsville Chapter of the National Space Club. The entire community was
pleased that Mr. Goldin could accept in person. 2) There is a ViTS this
week with all Center Directors (except JPL and GSFC) and Sam Venneri and
Joe Rothenberg to go over the program plan for the Space Launch
Initiative and the selection process. We’re looking for the Center
Directors to serve on an advisory board to Art Stephenson, the source
selection official.

3) Andersen Consultants was selected as the implementation contractor
for the Integrated Financial Management Program. 4) Carolyn Griner,
Marshall’s Deputy Director, announced her retirement, effective the end
of the year, after more than 37 years of government service. She will be
greatly missed by MSFC and the Agency.

SSC/Estess: Mr. Estess reported on SSC’s test area sling failure and
related lessons learned as well as the upcoming initial testing of the
dual flight engine for the X-33.

Mr. Goldin

Mr. Goldin expressed disappointment that NASA employees are still unaware
of NASA’s safety hierarchy and that safety is NASA’s #1 priority. Mr.
Goldin requested that the Associate Administrators and Center Directors
spend some time with their employees to discuss NASA safety principles.
Mr. Goldin wants Center Directors to provide information on time-loss
accidents to Fred Gregory, Associate Administrator, Office of Safety and
Mission Assurance. He wants a full analysis submitted to Mr. Gregory.
[Mr. Goldin requested that Fred Gregory provide him with a one-page
report on where NASA is regarding safety and what NASA is doing to ensure
safety.] He requested this report by the end of December.

Mr. Goldin also discussed space station specifications including space
debris. He believes that NASA should focus its technology on closing the
gap on debris detection. [Mr. Rothenberg was given an action to develop
a vigorous plan to include additional protection of astronauts performing
space walks and factor in proper reaction time. The plan is due by
mid-January.] He also would like an oversight panel to review the

Mr. Goldin also discussed a recent visit to a college campus. He stated
that he was overwhelmed by the excitement for NASA. He encouraged senior
management to visit college campuses more often.


SpaceRef staff editor.