Personnel News: August 2008 Archives

Editor's 25 Aug note: The following farewell message was openly sent to several hundred employees at NASA MSFC. It is well worth reading.

Editor's 26 Aug Update: The author of this memo has responded with additional comments.

From: Finckenor, Jeffrey L. (MSFC-EV32)
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 8:23 AM
To: [Hundreds of people at NASA MSFC and Elsewhere]
Subject: Farewell Address

I wanted to let you know that I am leaving NASA. I am leaving civil service and going to work on Army helicopters, within walking distance of my current desk. My last day here is September 5.

In my 19 years here I have always been struck and humbled by the amazing level of talent of all of you. As well as how friendly, helpful and dedicated so many people have been. During much of my career here I've been tickled that I could actually get paid to do things that were so much fun.

As many of you can probably guess, the immediate cause of my departure is the CAD/PDM issue, but even I realize that this is just a symptom of much larger, agency wide problems. It just happens to be the particular symptom I'm close to and know something about. Over the last few years numerous people have asked if there was any hope the CAD/PDM problem could be fixed. My answer was usually that "I'm still here, so I still have hope". Well, I no longer have hope. With catastrophic level risks accumulating across the program, and a steadfast refusal to accept reality, it's become clear to me that as bad as things are they are going to have to get a whole lot worse before the pieces can be picked up and we can get something that works.

KSC Reopening Delayed

Fay Delays NASA Kennedy Space Center Partial Reopening

"Managers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are delaying reopening the center for mission essential personnel Thursday morning because of slow-moving Tropical Storm Fay. Personnel should not report for work at 10 a.m. EDT as previously directed, but instead should check the center's status through the hurricane phone lines and emergency operations center Web site at noon. Plans still call for the center to open to all employees and return to full operation Friday."

Tropical Storm Fay forces more evacuations, could bring 30 inches of rain, AP

"About 10,200 homes and businesses in Brevard County were without power early Thursday, and about 134 people spent the night in shelters, she said. The county is home to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, which has been closed to most workers and all visitors since Tuesday. The center reported no significant damage."

John Bull

John S. Bull, former NASA astronaut, dies, CollectSpace

"John Bull, a former NASA astronaut who due to illness was forced to resign while supporting what would become the first crewed mission to the Moon, died August 11 at age 73."

NASA ARC Internal Memo: Message from the Center Director - Center Management Update

"Effective immediately, Marvin "Chris" Christensen is now the Special Assistant to the Center Director, working as an adviser on a number of centerwide issues. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Chris for his leadership and service to the agency. Lewis Braxton III is the acting Deputy Center Director."

NASA proposed Rule: Personal Identity Verification of Contractors

"NASA proposes to revise the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to update procedures for compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 4.13, Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel. FAR 4.13 requires that agencies include their implementing guidance of FIPS 201 and OMB guidance M-05-24 in solicitations and contracts that require the contractor to have routine physical access to Federally-controlled facilities and/or access to Federally- controlled information systems. NASA further proposes to designate The Assistant Administrator, Office of Security and Program Protection as the official with overall responsibility for verifying contractor employee personal identity."

NASA Names New Associate Administrator for Program Analysis and Evaluation

"NASA Administrator Michael Griffin announced the appointment of W. Michael Hawes as the associate administrator for Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E). Hawes will succeed Scott Pace, who will leave the agency later this month to become director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University."

Michael Griffin at Oshkosh, The Space Review

"[Griffin] did point out that, contrary to press reports, the Bush administration has not interfered with political appointments on staffing. He said that he wanted control of who was on his staff because he doesn't want to work with "idiots" (and he did use the word "idiots").

Editor's note: Ah, so Mike Griffin actually asked the White House if he could hire former deputy FEMA Director Patrick Rhode (who has left NASA), Karl Rove's political operative Jane Cherry (now NASA's White House Liaison), and of course, George Deutsch to come to work at NASA HQ? I am not suggesting that any of these folks are idiots (since Mike has decided that they are not) but they were all overt political appointees foisted upon NASA - however Mike Griffin wants to try and spin things.

Shuttle Job Cuts Begin

Lockheed Martin informs external tank workers of possible job cuts, Huntsville Times

"Lockheed Martin Corp. today informed its external fuel tank workforce in Huntsville and New Orleans that jobs on the space shuttle support program would be cut starting in the fall, according to a company spokesman. About 100 Lockheed Martin people work on the program in Huntsville, said Marion LaNasa, spokesman for Lockheed at the Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans where the aerospace giant manufactures the 15-story fuel tank for NASA."

Statement by John Chapman, External Tank Project Manager, About Work Force Reductions at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility

"While the reductions associated with the shuttle's retirement will result in fewer people doing NASA work at Michoud, the agency plans to locate significant work there in the future. Boeing employees will manufacture and assemble the Ares I upper stage, and conduct avionics systems integration and checkout. Lockheed Martin will build structures for the Orion crew exploration capsule as well as the capsule's Launch Abort System. In future years, the Ares V core stage and Earth departure stage, which will be needed for the return to the moon, will be built at Michoud."



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