Status Report

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting 5 September 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
September 5, 2000
Filed under

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on September 5, 2000. Mr. Goldin attended the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

W/Gross: Ms. Gross reported on the following items: 1) On August 29, a
former vice president of R.E.F. Computer Consultants, Inc., in Florida,
was charged with illegally obtaining competitor’s bid information on a
NASA subcontract awarded at KSC. The investigation was conducted by
Special Agents of the NASA Inspector General’s (IG) Office of Criminal
Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation
Division. 2) On August 21, a complaint for civil forfeiture of property
was filed in Texas against a former NASA contractor employee with Krug
Life Sciences, now known as Wyle Laboratories, Inc., the NASA medical
support contractor at JSC. The forfeited property includes his residence
and vehicle. The forfeiture is based on traceable transactions or
attempted transactions in violation of money laundering and other
statutes, Federal program fraud and mail fraud that the individual
investigation alleged diverted NASA contract funds totaling $243,109 to
purchase the seized residence and vehicle. On August 25, an order and
warrant for arrest of property without seizure for real property and with
seizure for personal property was executed. The investigation was
conducted by Special Agents of the NASA IG Office of Criminal
Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

AS/Olsen: Dr. Olsen reported that the Optical Society of America and
NASA hosted an International Conference on Laser Light Scattering on
August 21-23, 2000, in Whistler, Canada. Advances from NASA’s programs
in laser light scattering and surface light scattering were presented by
not only their NASA inventors, but by other researchers that have chosen
these new techniques as methods of choice for advancing their areas of
research. A number of NASA’s Principal Investigators in the Fluid
Physics colloids program chose to attend this conference and present
their work to the light scattering community. A special issue of Applied
Optics will be devoted to archiving this meeting.

P/Wilhide: Ms. Wilhide reported on the names of some VIP’s who are
attending the launch. They are as follows: Jack Lew, Director of the
Office of Management and Budget; Rudy DeLeon, Deputy Secretary of
Defense; Richard Donzig, Secretary of the Navy; Mrs. Columba Bush, First
Lady of Florida; Frank Brogen, Lt. Governor of Florida, and Admiral James
Loy, Commandant of the Coast Guard.

Q/Gregory: Mr. Gregory reported that the Office of Safety and Mission
Assurance has thoroughly reviewed the STS-106 mission and found no safety
concerns. A successful launch is anticipated.

L/Heffernan: Mr. Heffernan reported that the Science Committee is back
today. The House is back tomorrow.

Y/Asrar: Dr. Asrar reported on the following items: 1) The Office of
Earth Science has initiated the second high resolution (i.e., 25m or
better) mapping of Antarctica in partnership with the Canadian Space
Agency. The mapping will take more than 4500 minutes of RadarSat data to
map Antarctica from its current orbit. This activity started on
September 3 and will end in mid-November 2000. 2) The Geostationary
Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-L) operation was transferred to
the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in
August. Postflight checkout was completed in time to support the
hurricane-monitoring season. GOES-L is currently in a parking orbit that
can be moved to support either GOES-East or GOES-West operation. NOAA-L
is at Vandenberg Air Force Base going through integration to support its
launch at 10:22 GMT (i.e., 3:22 a.m. PDT and 6:22 a.m. EDT) on September
20, 2000.

2. AI/Dr. Mulville

Dr. Mulville reported on the following items: 1) The Non-Advocate
Reviews for the Integrated Financial Management Program and Intelligent
Synthesis Environment Program will be discussed at the Program Management
Council Meeting on Friday, September 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. 2) The agenda
for the September 15, Senior Management Council was released last week
via e-mail.

3. Center Reports

GRC/Earls: Dr. Earls reported that the NASA T-220 10 kilowatt Hall
Effect Thruster life test concluded on Friday, August 25, when it
surpassed 1000 hours of operation. This is the longest operation ever
achieved on a high-power Hall thruster (>5 kilowatt). This test
indicates the availability of 10 kilowatt Hall thruster technology for
future NASA, commercial, and military missions. This 1000-hour test
represents a 10-fold increase in the total operating time of any previous
high-power (>5 kilowatt) Hall thruster.

GSFC/Diaz: Mr. Diaz reminded attendees that the GSFC Director’s
Colloquium will be held on September 13. The Honorable James (Jim) Hall,
Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, is the keynote speaker.
Everyone is invited to attend.

JSC/Abbey: Mr. Abbey reported on the following items: 1) The crew is
at the Cape, preparing for the September 8 launch of STS-106. (Note:
STS-106 was successfully launched on September 7.) 2) Onorbit, the ISS
is doing fine. 3) The ISS airlock will be shipped to KSC on September
13. 4) All major elements through ISS Mission 7A are now at KSC.

LaRC/Creedon: Dr. Creedon reported on the following items: 1) LaRC
received two Industrial Research (IR) 100 awards. One award was for
Transparent Oxygen Resistant Polymers developed jointly by LaRC and
Triton Systems, Inc. The second IR 100 award was for Macro-Fiber
Composite actuator technology. MFC actuators are now being used in
structural control of composite structures, inflatable spacecraft, and
vibration control of various aircraft types. 2) The Society of
Automotive Engineers (SAE) notified Dr. Jaroslaw Sobieski that he was
awarded the SAE Wright Brothers Medal for 1999.

MSFC/Griner: Ms. Griner reported that Art Stephenson is on his way to
KSC to attend the launch. All Shuttle propulsion elements are ready for

4. Mr. Goldin:

Mr. Goldin discussed his travels over the summer. He said that the trips
were an incredible and unbelievable experience. He congratulated Dr.
Asrar and the Office of Earth Science for their comprehensive preparation
and development of the Moroccan agreements. The Foreign Minister of
Morocco was very impressed. Mr. Goldin stated that NASA’s remote sensing
expertise could have a positive impact on the people of Morocco. Mr.
Goldin also visited Ben Guerir Air Base, which is an alternative landing
supported by the Moroccans for the Space Shuttle. Mr. Goldin requested
that senior management visit this site, as well as other sites in
countries that assist NASA, to meet the people and understand their
issues. [Mr. Goldin requested that John Shumacher provide a list of the
countries that assist NASA and create a matrix, by Code.].

Next, Mr. Goldin discussed his trip to Alaska that was sponsored by
Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). Mr. Goldin said that Alaska has significant
environmental and resource concerns. He volunteered NASA’s assistance
with issues like salmon spawning, fisheries, and issues with the
environment. Mr. Goldin announced that a workshop will be held in
November regarding NASA’s support to Alaska in conjunction with NOAA.

Mr. Goldin discussed his trip to West Virginia, sponsored by Senator
Robert Byrd (D-WV). Senator Byrd hosted a dedication of a 100-meter
radio telescope. NASA will participate in the gathering of the

Next, Mr. Goldin joined a congressional delegation and met with the
European space leadership in Paris. The European community agreed to buy
$100 million of Russian goods and services for the International Space
Station (ISS). Mr. Goldin acknowledged thanks to Chairman James T.
Walsh, (R-NY), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Robert (Bud) E. Cramer, Jr., Carrie
Meek (D-FL), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).

Mr. Goldin then discussed his trip to Russia. In Moscow, he had very
candid discussions with Yuri Koptev. The ISS is important to Russia. He
also discussed his visit to Star City and St. Petersburg. While in St.
Petersburg, he visited the Tech Transfer Center. This was a very
interesting facility and is on the cutting edge for technology transfer.
Mr. Goldin will send the Office of Aerospace Technology information
regarding the facility.

Mr. Goldin also went to Dublin, Ireland, and had discussions with the
Prime Minister of Ireland regarding joint space activities. Mr. Goldin
concluded his trip discussion by thanking Ed Heffernan, John Shumacher,
and Mary D. Kerwin for their hard work in planning the trip.

Next, Mr. Goldin thanked Roberta Gross and the Office of the Inspector
General for their report on contractor safety at KSC and MSFC. While
NASA management has concurred with the IG recommendation, Mr. Goldin
reiterated NASA’s safety priority and requested that the Center Directors
read the report and ensure that their contracts contain the appropriate
safety provisions.

Regarding the upcoming 100th launch of the Space Shuttle, Mr. Goldin
stated how every launch is important and to not lose focus. “Let’s just
have a successful launch.”

Mr. Goldin expressed his disappointment with the tripled increase in
costs for Pluto and Europa missions. Mr. Goldin expressed his support
for Ed Weiler’s decision to delay the missions in order to review and
streamline these costs. Also, Mr. Goldin stated that the Red Team will
review the missions.

Mr. Goldin expressed a concern that the Centers are having problems
hiring new employees. [He requested that Vicki Novak provide him with a
report from the Center Directors.] Mr. Goldin wants NASA to aggressively
recruit at the universities, including minority-serving institutions.


SpaceRef staff editor.