February 28, 2000

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and
Center Directors’ Meeting on February 28, 2000. Mr. Goldin attended the
meeting. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy

1. AA Reports

G/Gayle: Mr. Gayle reported that Mr. Frankle is at JSC this week at the
Chief Counsel and Patent Counsel meetings.

U/Nicogossian: Dr. Nicogossian reported that the cover of the February 11
issue of Science Magazine featured a photograph of a levitated alumina
molten sample at 2700 degrees K (kelvin). This work is featured in the
21st Century Gordon Research Conference on High Temperature Materials
Processes. This particular photo arises from work funded by the
Microgravity Research Division through Drs. Rick Weber, Shankar Krishnan,
and Paul Nordine, all of Containerless Processing, Inc., of Chicago, IL.
The technology was flown on a Space Shuttle mission and has a potential
application to fiber optics technology.

L/Heffernan: Mr. Heffernan reported that the Iran Nonproliferation bill,
H.R. 1883, previously passed by the House 419-0, was passed by the Senate
last week 98-0 with amendments. The amended bill will go back to the House
this week.

Y/Asrar: Dr. Asrar reported that the Terra spacecraft is doing well, is in
flying formation, and is operational.

K/Thomas: Mr. Thomas reported that the 12th Annual NASA/JPL High Tech
Small Business conference will be held March 6 and 7 in the City of
Industry, CA. All NASA Centers and its major contractors will be
represented. It is NASA’s largest procurement conference of the year with
more than 1200 people expected to attend.

AO/Holcomb: Mr. Holcomb reported that this week contains Leap Day-the
final act for Y2K. NASA is reporting any Y2K anomalies that may occur to
the White House Communications Center, but we expect no significant
anomalies to occur.

C/Christensen: Mr. Christensen reported that he is advising the Associate
Administrators of upcoming training for Alternative Dispute Resolution and
encouraged all supervisors and managers to attend. Safety training will
also be available March 8 and 10.

AC/Armstrong: Gen. Armstrong reported that he will be meeting with the DOD
Vice Chiefs of the Services and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff at the Pentagon to look at partnership opportunities. He asked the
Associate Administrators and Center Directors to start reviewing the
cooperative agreements we currently have, especially with the Army and
Navy. He will be coming out with an e-mail containing the date of the
meeting and the information he will require.

P/Wilhide: Ms. Wilhide reported on the following: 1) This is week 58 of
the streak. Today, we have a story going out on the selection of
instruments for the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope. 2) Also today,
we are releasing a SeaWiFS image from GSFC, showing a dust storm off of
Africa that is the size of Spain. 3) JSC will be doing live shots of
hometowners over the next couple of weeks with students involved in the
KC-135 student experiment flights.

Mr. Goldin stated that General Armstrong is going to strengthen ties with
DOD. NASA had a close relationship with DOD during the Apollo era. With
technology transfer and possible shared infrastructure, strengthening our
relations with DOD is the intelligent thing to do. Tasks that are logical
for NASA will be performed by NASA. This is not an academic exercise; it
is long overdue, and it will be an ongoing process to improve our NASA/DOD

2. AI/Dr. Mulville

Dr. Mulville reported on the following: 1) Independent Annual Reviews
(IAR) for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Cassini, and the Space Operations
Management Office are the topics of the Program Management Council (PMC)
meeting scheduled for today from 1 to 4 p.m. 2) The Capital Investment
Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. to
discuss budgetary guidance for FY 2002. An agenda will be sent out by Code
B this week.

Regarding IAR’s, Mr. Goldin wants the Center Directors to be more
responsible; they are not critical enough of their projects. If an IAR is
scheduled but not yet ready, Center Directors are to call Dr. Mulville and

3. Center Reports

GSFC/Diaz: Mr. Diaz reported on the following: 1) He wanted to recognize
the Terra team. 2) Dr. Norton Huang has been elected to the National
Academy of Engineering. Dr. Huang was last year’s Inventor of the Year for
NASA. GSFC now has four members of the National Academy of Engineering or

JPL/Stone: Dr. Stone reported on the following: 1) Besides the successful
conclusion of the SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) flight, there
were three other big events. 2) The Stardust aerogel sample collector was
deployed to capture interstellar dust. 3) First light images were acquired
by MISR (Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer) on Terra. 4) Galileo flew
by Io at an altitude of 198 kilometers.

JSC/Abbey: Mr. Abbey reported on the following: 1) We are finalizing the
manifest for the April and other flights. 2) There will be a technical
interchange session on the International Space Station (ISS) Operations in
Moscow in the next 2 weeks. Everything appears to be on schedule.

MSFC/Griner: Ms. Griner reported that Mr. Stephenson is in California
attending the Review of the Propulsion Module at Boeing in Huntington
Beach, CA.

SSC/Estess: Mr. Estess reported the following: 1) Testing is going well.
2) Code M’s resources team was visiting last week, and Code Y will be
visiting this week.

4. Mr. Goldin

The Administrator’s message for this week was on “Design for Safety.” Mr.
Goldin began by stating that responsibility rests with the Center Directors
and then the governing PMC to perform Independent Assessments of projects.
[An action was given to Mr. Keegan to review each of the Centers’ projects
to see if they should be elevated from Center PMC’s to a Headquarters PMC.]
Mr. Goldin continued by stating that the Center Directors need to identify
“failure modes and effects” in the beginning of the design process,
including hardware, software, and system integration and test, then use the
total systems approach to address safety issues as they are discovered.
Identification of potential failure modes will guide the test and
verification process and enhance mission success. Specifically, Mr. Goldin
discussed more use of learning and knowledge-based tools to capture an
expert’s “insight”; application of Intelligent Systems research, similar to
the digital data base for the Space Shuttle; and use of Integrated Systems
Engineering life-cycle design tools and methods to develop and
institutionalize a “smart-design” process. [An action was given to Mr.
Venneri and Dr. McDonald to take inventory of the tools and points of
contact to put out on the Web within 1 month.] These tools will enable
NASA to continuously search for problems from concept throughout
operations. Project Managers should use automated “what if” studies to
evaluate system hazards and use advanced analysis tools to optimize design
options by simulation. Other aspects of Design for Safety are 1) Quantify
and minimize a risk when possible failure modes are discovered. 2)
Evaluate redundancy versus robustness. 3) Track the entire history of a
system throughout its life cycle and update analytical predictions, based
on operational experience. 4) Identify and analyze possible failures that
were not captured or accurately represented during the design and
development phase. 5) Use advanced artificial intelligence techniques to
look for patterns and trends. 6) Develop case studies as educational
tools. Let people do “mock” designs under the supervision of a “design for
safety” intelligent agent. No tool will replace smart people, but smart
tools can create smart people.


Mr. Goldin described the following schedule for implementation of the
Design for Safety concept.

Phase I (2000-2002)

– Use the Shuttle as the initial application for applying state-of-the-art
Information Technology knowledge.

– Identify research needed to fill “design for safety” gaps through

– Initiate the first round of focused Information Technology research.

– Have a fully digitized Shuttle, and have maintenance management and
problem identification.

Phase II (2002-2005)

– Implement “design for safety” into Integrated Systems Engineering.

– Complete the first round of research and implement into new Information
Technology methods.

Mr. Goldin asked Mr. Keegan to identify one project per Enterprise to apply
state-of-the-art Information Technology knowledge. Mr. Goldin asked Code Q
to work with Mr. Venneri (Code R) to identify research required for the
Design for Safety application. [Mr. Goldin asked for the topics of the
last 3 weeks (Fault Tree Analysis, Risk Management, and Design for Safety)
to be consolidated into a letter to be sent to all employees by Codes Q and
C by the next 2 weeks.] Mr. Goldin concluded by stating that Design for
Safety is at the core of what NASA does, and he will be discussing this
topic further at future events and conferences.



Officials-in-Charge of NASA Headquarters Offices:

AI/Dr. Mulville

AB/Ms. Tagg

AC/Gen. Armstrong

AE/Mr. Keegan

AJ/Mr. Tam

AO/Mr. Holcomb

AS/Dr. Olsen

B/Mr. Holz

C/Mr. Christensen

E/Mr. Reese

F/Ms. Novak

G/Mr. Frankle

H/Mr. Luedtke

I/Mr. Schumacher

J/Mr. Sutton

K/Mr. Thomas

L/Mr. Heffernan

M/Mr. Rothenberg

P/Ms. Wilhide

Q/Mr. Gregory

R/Mr. Venneri

S/Dr. Weiler

U/Dr. Nicogossian

W/Ms. Gross

Y/Dr. Asrar

Z/Ms. Garver

Directors, NASA Centers:

ARC/Dr. McDonald

DFRC/Mr. Petersen

GRC/Mr. Campbell

GSFC/Mr. Diaz

JSC/Mr. Abbey

KSC/Mr. Bridges

LaRC/Dr. Creedon

MSFC/Mr. Stephenson

SSC/Mr. Estess

Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

Dr. Stone


A/Ms. Roberts

A/Ms. Landrus

AB/Ms. Saldana

AE/Ms. Moore

AI/Ms. Bloxon

AI/Ms. Shaeffer

AO/Ms. Wissinger

AS/Ms. Simms

C-3/Ms. Soper