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NASA Senior Management ViTS Minutes 1 May 2005

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2005

- JPL delivered the safety message about selecting safe onsite contractors. They reported that they investigate and evaluate the safety record and safety plan of companies that want to work onsite and they use this as a factor in selecting the winning contractors.

- HQ reported that NASA will press forward on a possible Hubble Servicing Mission and will do smart things now to prepare should the Agency decide to launch a repair mission. These activities will not impact return to flight activities. The decision to delay the return to flight mission was announced at a press conference on Friday, and the team discussed and debated the technical issues thoroughly and did an excellent job in reaching this decision. The Administrator is planning to visit Centers in late May.

- Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate reported on meetings to take place this week with the NASA Advisory Council's Aeronautics Research Advisory Council subcom-mittee and staff of the House Science Committee regarding wind tunnel issues.

- Science Mission Directorate reported that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was shipped to KSC to be prepared for launch in August. The NOAA-N Mission Readiness Review was completed last week.

- Space Operations Mission Directorate reported that the Expedition 10 crew is doing fine in Star City, Russia, and Expedition 11 crew is also doing well on the International Space Station. The right decision was made to delay the return to flight mission with excellent follow-on technical discussion with the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station Programs.

- Safety and Mission Assurance reported on the Delta II upper stage return to Earth Monday morning. The office agreed with the steps that JPL has taken to assure that onsite contractors are safe (see safety message above) and they need to have a policy discussion on contractor safety past performance with all of the Centers.

- GRC reported on a return to flight activity. Several segments of a grease bead, which is used as a moister barrier on the Shuttle Rocket Booster, had fallen off on the Launch Pad. The Shuttle Debris Transport Team is assessing the risk of impact grease on both surface penetration and corrosion. The team has requested the help of the Icing Branch at GRC in determining whether the shed grease bead breaks up when exposed to the aerodynamic forces of a shuttle launch trajectory. Experts in solid lubrication and droplet and film dynamics were called in to assist in the investigation.

Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) ViTS:

- ARC reported on the NASA value of safety and it was mentioned that with the spring arriving, more people are riding their bicycles to work. It is important for bicycle riders to wear a helmet for their safety.

- The Agency road mapping activities will be concluded officially by May 22, 2005.

- No Aeronautics ViTS will be held next week.

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