NASA Staff Meeting Minutes 20 March 1995

Subject: Time: 2:25 PM OFFICE MEMO Staff Meeting Minutes 3/20/95
Date: 3/21/95 Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors' Meeting March 20, 1995

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and Center Directors' Meeting on March 20, 1995. Action assignments are bolded. Mr. Goldin was in attendance.

1. AA Reports H/Lee: Ms. Lee reiterated that it would be prudent for the codes to reevaluate their procurement actions in light of the downsizing and restructuring of organizations-- contract period of performance needs to be adjusted with shorter term periods.

U/Holloway: Last week the Mir-18 launch occurred with Norm Thagard on board, paving the way for a new era of cooperation between the United States and Russia. Dr. Thagard will stay on board Mir for 3 months to conduct various scientific experiments. The Shuttle Endeavour touched down in California on March 18, ending the longest Shuttle flight. A formal medical flight safety board will be convened to review the crew's physiological observations.

E/Westbrooks: Dr. Freeman is attending a meeting with Frank C. Weaver, Commercial Space Transportation Office, Department of Transportation. The Agency is in receipt of an unfair labor practice charge filed by the local union with the Federal Labor Relations Authority. The union is seeking a temporary restraining order prohibiting NASA from further implementing the NASA Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Plan. Pilot training for diversity management was held last week--20 participants. Two additional training sessions will be held in the April and June timeframe. Equal opportunity management briefings will be conducted at DFRC and ARC by Messrs. Westbrooks (Hqs) and J D Horne (MSFC) this week.

Y/Townsend: The NOAA-14 failed Microwave Sounding Unit, which failed 2 weeks ago, showed some sign of life last week--not totally dead as suspected (operated for about 20 minutes). Orbital Sciences Corporation attempted a launch of OrbCOM on March 18--still on the ground. A new launch date is pending. The OrbCOM will be carrying an engineering model of an EOS lightning imager on board. Launch vehicle is a standard Pegasus and not the Pegasus XL.

R/Whitehead: On March 16, a status of NASA/Russian Cooperative Aero Research, under the NASA-GOSKOM Memorandum of Understanding, was presented. On March 17, he attended a meeting of the National Science and Technology Council (Dr. Gibbons) Chair and Vice-Chairs. Topics included the R&D priorities and associated impacts on the FY 1997 budget. It is a very broad-base group with high aspirations.

L/Lawrence: Mr. Lawrence provided the Congressional Hearing Calendar dated March 20, 1995 (enclosure). The FY 1996 Budget Request hearings are as follows: The House Subcommittee on VA-HUD-IA (Chairman Lewis, R-CA), Committee on Appropriations, is scheduled for March 28, 29, and 30, and the Senate Subcommittee on VA-HUD-IA (Chairman Bond, R-MO), Committee on Appropriations, remains on schedule for April 5. Attendees for the hearing next week will be identified by the end of this week. It is expected that Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) will submit an amendment to the rescission bill to delete funding for Space Station, hypersonics, and wind tunnels. NASA is postured to do battle on the floor next week.

T/Gaff: The National Performance Review has issued its annual Agency report. They are tracking 19 actions against NASA--15 completed, 1 withdrawn and tabled, and 3 in progress.

S/Kicza: The ASTRO-2 mission far exceeded expectations. Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope observed more than 100 targets, Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope observed all planned targets, and the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment obtained 13 times as much data as they obtained on the ASTRO-1 mission. The final numbers for the ASTRO-2 World Wide Web page are 2,400,000 million requests from 200,000 people from 57 countries. A press release will be issued this week on the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopy Explorer (FUSE ) restructuring.

P/Boeder: Excellent press coverage was received on the Mir-18 launch with Norm Thagard on board and the ASTRO-2 mission. The next Space Astronomy Update is scheduled for March 21 at 2 p.m. EST. The program will feature spectacular new images and discussions of the atmospheric conditions on Mars and Venus as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.

F/Armstrong: As of March 17, Agency buyout numbers are 1433 total, including 52 SES'ers. Headquarters buyouts are at 86 total, including 21 SES'ers. This is the last week for applications. However, we do have the authority to accept applications until March 31 to accommodate personnel on travel.

W/Rinker: Last week, at JSC, discussions were concluded with the Russians on the Inspector General functions--investigations and audits--as a means of comparison for the Russians to set up similar activities. Mr. Rinker thanked Codes B, I, and M for their assistance with this effort.

I/Schumacher: The visit of Mr. Francois Fillon, French Minister for Higher Education and Research, to MSFC and JSC went extremely well. The ESA Council Meeting is scheduled for March 22--Space Station commitment is expected. A Japanese delegation is here this week to hopefully resolve the cross-waiver issue.

M/Littles: The Office of Space Flight Management Council Meeting is scheduled for March 24. The agenda will be sent out soon.

2. AD/Dailey David Howell (Code B) has been named Program Manager of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (replacement for NAFIS). Gen. Dailey reinforced the need for all their support for David to accomplish the ambitious goals. It is important that senior management maintain a calm demeanor as we begin to implement various downsizing and/or restructuring activities. The apprehension level is high among the employees, and management should take an active role to keep their employees informed so that they can make the best possible decisions. The NASA Continual Team Exchange and Tenth Continual Improvement Reinvention Conference are scheduled for April 10 and 11, 1995. The Center Directors and Associate Administrators should support the conference on April 11, which will include our top contractors and highlight the George M. Low Award. While we have a significant number of our top contractors planning to attend, we need senior management's support and encouragement to ensure a good attendance by our contractors and subcontractors. John Koskinen, Deputy Director Management, OMB, has agreed to be a panelist. The Vice President is invited to be the keynote speaker on April 11 (confirmation pending). Overdue correspondence is under control.

3. Center Director Reports

ARC/Munechika: ARC hosted a number of visits last week--The Zero-Base Review on March 14 and Mr. Goldin's visit on March 16 and 17.

DFRC/Szalai: DFRC, ARC, and JSC will set up a telemedicine demonstration in pediatric oncology in San Antonio, Texas, on March 24. Through two-way audio- video linkages, San Antonio physicians will consult with a remote patient and the attending physician. This is a public/private-sector collaboration among health organizations, NASA, and Sprint. This demonstration was carried out under the auspices of Healthcare Open Systems and Trials (HOST) Corporation.

GSFC/Klineberg: Dr. Klineberg advised that he had an "all-hands" meeting with the GSFC employees this morning (March 20) and advised them that we was taking the buyout. Tom Huber, GSFC Deputy Director, is also taking the buyout. Dr. Klineberg stated that he has agreed to stay on until a GSFC Center Director has been named and through an appropriate transition period. He thanked everyone for their support throughout his 25-year NASA career.

JPL/Stone: On March 17, Lockheed Martin Astronautics was selected as the contractor for the Mars Surveyor '98 orbiter and lander.

JSC/Abbey: Representatives Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Steve Stockman (R-TX) visited JSC on March 17. The landing of Endeavour occurred on March 18 at Edwards AFB, California. Shuttle preparations for STS-71 are underway; however, a Spektr delay could impact our launch date. The international Space Station Incremental Design Review is scheduled for March 29 and 30.

KSC/Honeycutt: The landing at EAFB went well. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel was at KSC on March 15, 16, and 17 to assess the morale of the KSC workforce.

LaRC/Holloway: The Zero-Base Review is at LaRC today (March 20).

LeRC/Campbell: On March 15, Messrs. Campbell and Povinelli, the LeRC Personnel Director, and union representatives met with LeRC employees to collectively address questions and comments about downsizing efforts. The session lasted 2 hours. MSFC/Bridwell: Mr. Bridwell asked that Bob Schwinghamer provide a Block I SSME status. The Block I certification engine 0422 was final tested on B-1 test stand at SSC on March 15 at 8 p.m. in a 215-second firing. Performance was nominal, and post-test inspections show no anomalies. Pump is back at Pratt & Whitney (P&W) today (March 20). This completes certification testing for engine 0422 and also for the basic P&W high-pressure oxidizer turbopump configuration. There is greater than 100,000 seconds on the P&W design--80,000 seconds with the silicon nitride bearings. Engine 2036, the first Block I engine at KSC, flies on June 22.

4. A/Goldin

Mr. Goldin stated that Dr. Klineberg had done a wonderful job at GSFC and that his record of success was stunning. He appreciates that Dr. Klineberg will stay on until the new GSFC Center Director is named. Mr. Goldin said that this was an exciting time as we redefine the Agency. Through the leadership of the Associate Administrators and Center Directors, NASA is preparing for the 21st century. It is important that employees see the positive aspects of the restructuring and that we are on track with the Congress and the public. As the restructuring occurs, we will return to a more R&D Agency, performing cutting-edge research. It is important that the leadership spend time with the employees to ensure that they understand. At the conclusion of this buyout period, we will have had approximately 3,000 employees voluntarily leave the Agency, which will in itself reduce some of the stress of our proposed reductions. It should also be conveyed that corporate America makes these type of reductions on a daily basis; however, they do not become dysfunctional. This is a natural transition to making a better Agency. During his visit to ARC and Silicon Valley, he met with CEO's from various companies involved in the information technology infrastructure, and they attested that we are having a positive impact in the country. Mr. Goldin also congratulated LeRC for their proactiveness in bringing the LeRC employees together to assuage their anxiety-- communication is key. He was also able to witness the landing of Endeavour at DFRC on March 18--the astronauts did an excellent job on this mission.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 20, 1995 1:33 PM.

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