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NASA Staff Meeting Minutes 18 March 1996

By Keith Cowing
March 18, 1996
Filed under ,

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting March 18, 1996
The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting on March 18, 1996. Action assignments are bolded.

1. AA Reports
B/Holz: NASA issued the annual Audit Financial Report last week, which included an unqualified opinion from the Office of the Inspector General. The report was issued 3.5 months earlier than last year’s report and is representative of the positive teamwork that exists between Codes B and W. The RFP for the Integrated Financial Management Program is almost ready to be issued. A Full Cost Accounting Policy Working Group has been formed and will meet April 2, 1996. A steering committee on this topic has also been formed. Code B continues its evaluation of the Agency’s unobligated balances, unliquidated obligations, delinquent outlays, undisbursed funds, and uncollected funds. Wayne Draper, from JSC, has been assigned to chair a working group that will identify the behavior and procedures that have caused this effect, establish recommended carryover threshold levels, and recommend new business practices to decrease or eliminate this phenomena.
K/Green: Ralph Thomas is on his way to KSC to participate in the Minority Business Resource Advisory Committee meeting. Mr. Green congratulated JPL for being selected to receive the Small Business Administration’s Eisenhower award.
S/Huntress: Galileo is doing well. The spacecraft’s main engine was fired for the final time March 14 to placed the craft into a higher orbit where it would be protected from Jupiter’s harsh radiation environment while it conducts its exploration of four of Jupiter’s moons. On March 25, 1996, a comet will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere, between the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper. The Hubble Space Telescope will be used to provide an examination of the comet; however, the comet will be visible with the use of binoculars.
U/Holloway: Code U is looking forward to the launch of STS-76, that will bring Dr. Lucid to the Mir.
R/Whitehead: The X-36, a remotely piloted tailless research aircraft, will be displayed for the first time on March 19, 1996, at 11:00 a.m. at McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis, MO. The TU-144 rollout was held in Moscow on March 17. Last week, Dr. Whitehead went to the Naval Surface Weapons Center to review the T-9 Hypersonic Wind Tunnel.
Y/Mann: Topex-Poseidon NASA Research Announcement will be issued electronically on March 18, 1996. NPOESS Office, with DOD and NOAA, will not be issuing a request for proposal this year as expected. It will slide to 1999.
P/Boeder: The NASA Administrator will be conducting the FY 1997 Budget Press Conference on March 19, 1996, at 3:30 p.m. As soon as OMB approves the Administrator’s statement, a copy will forwarded to all of the Centers for distribution to their employees. This will be the first in a series of messages from the Administrator that will address a variety of issues. This statement will also be published on the internet. Dr. Levy has agreed to conduct interviews to discuss next week’s comet sighting. Ms. Boeder also congratulated MSFC for their efforts to support the interviews that were conducted during the last mission. Mr. Goldin will be travelling to San Francisco to speak to graduates of the Harvard Business School.
AE/Mulville: William Taylor, from MSFC, will begin a 1-year detail as the Deputy Chief Engineer in mid-April.
Z/Ladwig: The Centers should have received the Strategic Plan for distribution to their employees.
J/Cooper: GAO will begin two new studies. The first will address the implementation of the National Performance Review’s recommendations by Federal agencies. The second will address NASA’s use of the buyout.
2. AD/Dailey
The strategic planning retreat is scheduled for April 2, 1996, from 8:30 to 5:30 p.m., and on April 3 from 8:30 to 12:00 noon, in MIC 7.
The Headquarters Continual Improvement Council met March 18, 1996, and decided to go on a hiatus for the time being. Quality is still a high priority for the Agency. Last year, the Agency Quality Steering Team was subsumed by the Senior Management Group. That group will continue to be personally involved in various quality initiatives of the Agency. The Employee Quality Representatives will continue to be a valuable pool from which to draw expertise for ad hoc teams working on the challenging issues within the Agency.
On a related note, requests for NASA representatives to attend Quality Conferences are currently being reviewed. Due to the expense of these conferences, NASA will prioritize those conferences that are appropriate for the Agency to attend and will cut back on the number of representatives that will attend.
On Friday, March 15, 1996, General Dailey tasked Sam Armstrong to develop a Human Resource Management Plan for the Agency. This was the number one area of concern raised during the Administrative Issues Conference. He will be working with the appropriate representatives from the Enterprise and Functional/Staff Offices.
3. Center Director Reports
ARC/McDonald: ARC held the Information Technology Workshop, where the representatives from the other Centers gave their recommendations for future requirements. Lee Holcomb and Sam Venneri attended the workshop and played a significant role in focusing the workshop’s efforts and consolidating the various input for dissemination.
DRFC/Szalai: DRFC flew the SR-71 research aircraft #844 on a functional check flight last week and returned the aircraft to DRFC after an extensive modification period at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility. The aircraft received extensive structural, wiring, and instrumentation modifications in preparation for the Aerospike experiment. The Aerospike rocket test article continues to check out at the USAF Phillips Lab. Some delays have occurred because of difficulties with its controller software.
GSFC/Rothenberg: Polar has passed a significant milestone and all of its appendages are now deployed. The HST student program, conducted last week, was on-line live with schools from the state of Washington and real time internet feeds with individuals as far away as Moscow.
JPL/Stone: A press release on the use of JPL’s Airborne Visible and Infra-Red imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) to produce maps used to assist in the clean-up of hazardous waste at a Superfund site in Leadville, CO, was issued March 13, 1996.
JSC/Garman: JSC was participating as one of 16 to 18 Government agencies being recognized by the Vice President for a Hammer award.
KSC/Thomas: The countdown for STS-76 is proceeding well. The Center is hosting the Minority Business Resource Advisory Committee meeting on March 19 and 20.
LaRC/Beach: The independent annual review went well. For the third week in a row the Supersonic Laminar Flow experiments, tested on F-16 XL, have succeeded. On March 20, 1996, Dr. Mansfield will be at the Center.
LeRC/Kress: A front page article concerning the phase out of the National Wind Tunnel Program appeared in the March 18, 1996, Cleveland Plain Dealer. The six- month old Aerospace Industry Technology Program (AITP), led by GE Aircraft Engines, on “Affordable Processes for Manufacturing Titanium Aluminide (TiAl) Engine Components,” is beginning to show results. The goal of the program is to accelerate the introduction of TiAl as a low-pressure turbine blade in the GET-90 engine. The Advanced Subsonic Industry Steering Committee Meeting will be held at Lewis on April 22 and 23, 1996. This Committee is a team of industry (VP level) and FAA representatives which provides overall technical and management recommendations to the AST Program Management. Mr. Attilio Galasso, CIRA Research Director, and Mr. Angelo Garrone, CIRA Icing Wind Tunnel Project Manager, visited LeRC on March 5, 1996. The purpose of their visit was to discuss possible cooperative activities in the area of icing wind tunnel testing capabilities. LeRC and CIRA have agreed to cooperate on four discreet tasks which will further each organizations’ abilities to simulate in a wind tunnel environment, the Supercooled Large Droplet meteorological conditions that were encountered by the American Eagle ATR-72, which crashed near Roselawn, Indiana in 1994.
MSFC/Griner: Dr. Littles is on his way to KSC. All of the propulsion issues for STS-76 have been positively addressed and approved for launch. Last week MSFC sent an exhibit to a pharmaceutical convention in Tennessee that was attended by more than 5500 individuals. The highlight to MSFC’s participation was the roundtable discussions between the pharmaceutical firms’ executives and NASA researchers.
SSC/Craig: Last week Astronaut Brent Jett addressed the SSC employees and the Mississippi Federal Executive Association, Gulf Coast Region. SSC’s tests on Lockheed Martin’s subscale hydrogen tank are going well.

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