News: September 2013 Archives

NASA's Compliance with Executive Order 13526: Classified National Security Information

"However, while the Agency's procedures meet Federal requirements, its implementing directive does not require Agency personnel with classification authority to receive all necessary training. Additionally, we found instances in which Agency personnel were not consistently following these NASA policies. Specifically, we found classified documents that were improperly marked,training requirements that were not met, and self-inspections that were not fully implemented. Although these deficiencies were relatively minor in nature, failure to comply with these requirements increases the risk that personnel may inadvertently misclassify material."

NASA Infrastructure: Enabling Discovery and Ensuring Capability, Testimony of NASA OIG Paul Martin

"NASA is the ninth largest Federal Government property holder, controlling approximately 4,900 buildings and structures with an estimated replacement value of more than $30 billion. More than 80 percent of the Agency's facilities are 40 or more years old and beyond their design life. However, NASA has not been able to fully fund required maintenance for its facilities and in 2012 estimated its deferred maintenance costs at $2.3 billion. Moreover, a 2012 Agency study estimated that NASA may have as many as 865 unneeded facilities with associated annual maintenance costs of more than $24 million."

NASA Desperately Needs Road Map to Manage Aging Assets, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

"According to NASA's own study, the agency has a backlog of nearly $2.2 billion in deferred maintenance. NASA is the ninth largest real property holder in the federal government. However, nearly 80 percent of the agency's facilities are 40 or more years old."

Testimony of NASA AA Richard Keegan on NASA's Aging Infrastructure

Keith's note: Summary: NASA does not admit that there are any problems and wants you to think all is well. NASA does not really do anything to address the issues raised by everyone else, but they sure do a lot of studies.

NASA Internal Memo: Do Not Access Public Web Sites Containing Classified Information

"Individuals with a security clearance have agreed to certain restrictions regarding classified information. Accessing classified information on Wikileaks, even from home, constitutes a security violation. Viewing classified information from a computer that isn't authorized to access classified information, and/or viewing classified information that he or she is not authorized access to, is a security violation. And, use of official Government computers for other than authorized purposes is prohibited by federal ethics laws."

Bad News From Earth

11 September 2001: Bad news from Earth

"The news from Earth that morning wasn't good. Frank Culbertson would soon find that some of the day's pre-planned routine would be altered. As soon as he was told of the attacks, Culbertson checked to see when they would be passing over the east coast of the U.S. Discovering that this was only some minutes away, Culbertson grabbed a camera. The window in Mikhail Tyurin's cabin turned out to be the one with the best view."

Keith's note: A farewell reception was held at NASA Headquarters on Thursday for NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. In addition to the long list of thank yous to staff and friends, Garver had some parting observations and recollections to share.

Garver said that she had three personal objectives while at NASA: "to try and align NASA with national objectives; to provide value to taxpayers; and to try and be a consistent leader."

Responding to criticism she said that people had characterized her as just pushing change for the sake of change, being the "commercial crew girl" or "asteroid girl". She chalked this off as being the outcome of having worked to advance her overall goals.

As for her relationship with Charlie Bolden she said they they had "the best relationship team of any NASA Administrator and Deputy in my history and I've seen a lot of them", that she "learned so much from Bolden".

Garver reflected back to her efforts before being nominated to be Deputy Administrator - specifically leading the Obama transition team in 2008 following the election. She noted that she and her team had a "rocky start" and that she was "the only member of the entire transition team that had to deal with an agency head (Mike Griffin) who was openly hostile to the team and who had instructed his folks not to share information with us." Garver noted that Griffin "had a campaign headed by his wife that sought to try to keep him in his position." She joked that this whole drama ended up giving her more visibility within the senior leadership of the transition team than might otherwise have been the case.

Garver closed with a top ten list of things she had learned as NASA's Deputy Administrator:


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