Status Report

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting 9 Apr 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
April 9, 2001
Filed under ,

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on April 9, 2001. Mr. Goldin did not attend the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

F/Novak: NASA has submitted a package to OMB requesting relief from the
hiring controls for GS-14’s and 15’s and ST positions and have asked fora
blanket waiver for hiring =93Other Than Full Time Permanent=94 positions,which
includes term, temporary, and NASA excepted service personnel. We are
currently reviewing the Centers’ SES requests and will be forwarding that
request to OMB separately.

W/Gross: On November 13, 2000, an individual pled guilty to four counts of
producing and distributing child pornography, receiving child pornography
by computer, and possession of child pornography while working at the Glenn
Research Center, using a NASA-owned computer for this criminal activity. A
former computer administrator at NYMA, Inc., a NASA prime contractor, was
sentenced in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, to 13 years
and 3 months in prison, 3 years probation upon completion of incarceration,
a fine of $17,500, a special assessment fee of $350, and forfeiture of all
personal computers and related equipment. Subsequent to his release from
prison, he must register as a sexual offender wherever he chooses to
reside. The investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the NASA
Office of Inspector General, Office of Criminal Investigations and Computer
Crimes Division, and the U.S. Customs Service. Ms. Gross urged Center
Directors to reinforce to employees that this behavior will absolutely not
be tolerated.

M/Rothenberg: This week marks the 20th Anniversary of the first flight of
the Space Shuttle. There are numerous activities planned to celebrate this
historical event.

P/Cleggett: 1) There has been superb coverage of the successful launch of
2001 Mars Odyssey with numerous live shots. 2) Space Shuttle STS-100
briefings are ongoing.
3) NASA’s budget briefing is to be held this afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

S/Weiler: Dr. Weiler thanked the broader NASA team for all of its hard work
in successfully launching 2001 Mars Odyssey on April 7, 2001.

U/Erickson: A Science Council Meeting is scheduled for April 10. The
topic is Federal Policy on Research Misconduct.

Q/Gregory: 1) Last Friday, April 6, the Office of Safety and Mission
Assurance accepted delivery of Version 1.6 of the Quantitative Risk
Assessment System, or QRAS. This is a vastly improved version of our
software application for performing aerospace probabilistic risk
assessment. While some beta testing remains to be done, it is safe to say
that NASA now has the state-of-the-art Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA)
tool in the world today. Unique features of QRAS include its ability to
model multiphase missions, its use of =93engineer-friendly=94 event sequence
diagrams, its state-of-the-art handling of common cause failures, and its
extremely fast algorithms for obtaining quick, exact cut set solutions for
fault trees. We were assisted with this development by our support
contractor, L&M Technologies, Honeywell, and the University of Maryland,
and we are very proud of this achievement. 2) Also last week, this Office
conducted here at Headquarters the first pilot-presentation of a new PRA
methodology workshop. About 30 participants from across the Agency
received 4 days of expert instruction on how to do PRA. The first half-day
session included an overview of PRA specifically for the benefit of
managers. The instructors included Professors George Apostolakis from MIT
and Ali Mosleh from the University of Maryland, and a number of other PRA
experts. We plan to present this workshop periodically as part of our
efforts to build the Agency’s capability to understand, do, and apply the
results of PRA methodology.

L/Kerwin: 1) Mr. Goldin testified before the House Science Committee on
Wednesday, April 4 concerning the status of the International Space Station
program. Ms. Kerwin thanked Headquarters and JSC for their support in
generating preparation materials, and stated that this was, in great part,
responsible for the hearing going well, given the challenge that NASA is
confronting on the ISS. 2) On Friday, April 6, the Senate passed the FY
2002 budget resolution. As passed, the resolution includes an amendment,
sponsored by Senators Bond, Domenici, Mikulski and Bingaman that increases
Function 250, the Science, Technology and Space function, by $1.4B. The
intent of the amendment is that $250M of this increase be provided for NASA
science activities, with the remainder being targeted to Department of
Energy and National Science Foundation activities. The budget resolution
is in no way binding upon the appropriations process. 3) Congress will be
on a 2-week spring recess, but during that time, Code L will brief
Committee staff on the President’s FY 2002 budget proposal.

K/Thomas: Last week, a conference on =93How to Commercialize NASA
Technology=94 was held at Cocoa Beach, Florida, and Mr. Thomas thanked all
involved for their support.

A-1/Blumberg: A 2- 1/2 day program was held last week at the NASA
Astrobiology Institute where scientific presentations with given to a group
of over 200 people.

J/Dominguez: Ms. Dominguez congratulated GRC’s Michael Blotzer for
receiving the 2001 Cleveland Federal Executive Board’s Employee Recognition
Award. Mike is the Environmental Manager for GRC.

2. AA/Mr. Stadd

1) Mr. Stadd welcomed Jerry Brown, the new Associate Administrator for
Public Affairs, citing his talent and his many achievements. Mr. Brown
shows a great passion for advancing aeronautics and space objectives and is
a superb addition to the NASA team. 2) Mr. Stadd congratulated the Code S
team for the successful launch of Odyssey. It exemplifies a superior case
in which prior lessons learned are incorporated into a program to achieve
success. 3) Mr. Stadd complimented Code L for the hearing before the House
Science Committee. The hearing proceeded well however NASA faces
challenges ahead. We must monitor International Space Station (ISS)
activities closely, and report back to Congress on ISS performance.

3. AI/Dr. Mulville

1) Dr. Mulville reminded everyone to please close out actions in a timely
fashion. If, an office receives an action, and knows that it will not be
able to meet the specified due date, or if as the due date approaches, the
office has an unforeseen legitimate reason for not meeting a due date, it
should coordinate with Code AI, AE, or CIC, as appropriate, to request an
extension. 2) Similarly, Dr. Mulville reminded the Enterprises and
Functional Offices to please review draft PMC minutes and provide comments
to Code AE by the specified due date. We need to improve the process and
publish these minutes in a timely manner. In the future, if Code AE does
not receive an office’s response by the due date, concurrence will be
assumed, and the minutes will go forward. 3) Dr. Mulville encouraged the
Enterprise and Functional Office Associate Administrators and Center
Directors to take the time to nominate worthy candidates for the numerous
awards available for NASA personnel. This is an excellent way to recognize
their outstanding contributions and to increase overall employee morale.

4. Center Reports

GRC/Campbell: 1) Kim de Groh of GRC has been selected as a Space Flight
Awareness (SFA) Honoree for her contributions to studies of the degradation
of Teflon Multilayer Insulation (MLI) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST),
her involvement as a member of the HST MLI Failure Review Board, and her
impact on HST servicing missions. Kim will receive an SFA award at the
event to be held April 9-13, 2001, in Washington, DC. The event has been
coordinated to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of STS-1. A special
Honoree Reception will be held on April 12 at the National Air and Space
Museum. 2) June Lockhart and the =93Lost in Space cast members, appearingat
=93FrightVision 2001,=94 made a trip to GRC on April 6, 2001, to gain new
insight on how the science fiction they portrayed in the show is turning
into reality. The cast members toured the Glenn Electric Power Laboratory
facility and learned about the challenges of interstellar travel, existing
propulsion ideas, and the possibilities emerging from science fiction that
may one day provide the desired propulsion breakthroughs.

JSC/Estess: 1) There was a Flight Readiness Review last Thursday, and we
are still working toward the April 19 launch of Space Shuttle STS-100. 2)
The ISS crew is very busy with only 1 day off before the STS-100 launch,
but the team is looking for ways to reduce the Expedition crew’s
workload. 3) The Ku-band antenna is back up in the manual mode and running
for the TV and data. 4) The Progress supply vessel will undock from the
ISS on April 16 in preparation for the Soyuz relocation on April 17 to
prepare for the arrival of STS-100.

MSFC/Stephenson: 1) An X40A drop test is expected at DFRC
momentarily. (Note: The test was cancelled due to high winds.) 2) MSFC
had a wonderful educational outreach activity this past weekend with the
8th Annual Moon Buggy Race at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Fifty-six
high school and college teams from 20 different States participated by
building a “moon buggy” that fit into a 4-foot cube. Each buggy was
assembled and powered by a coed student team over a simulated lunar terrain
in a timed event. 3) Mr. Stephenson thanked JSC for arranging for the
upcoming Space Shuttle STS-98 crew visit to MSFC on Friday, April 13.

SSC/Craig: Ron Rabin, a Lockheed Martin Stennis employee, is the 2001
recipient of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
(ASPRS) Presidential Citation for exceptional service to the Society.


SpaceRef staff editor.