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NASA Internal Memo from Michael Griffin to William Gerstenmaier: In-Guide Option for FY 2007 Budget

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2005

Pre-Decisional Information - For Internal Use Only

4 October 2005

TO: William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Space Operations

FROM: Michael Griffin, Administrator

SUBJECT: In-Guide Option for FY 2007 Budget

In looking back at our transition efforts over the summer, I find that I have not yet fully stepped up to me responsibilities as Administrator. In particular, it is imperative that we provide an in-guide option for the Office of Management and Budget for FY 2007. We can request over-guide consideration, but we must first "answer the mail". Most of the challenges to doing this lie in Space Operations. It is incumbent on us to develop an executable option, or face the risk of a less desirable option being imposed upon us. You and I have discussed this at some length in the weeks since you have assumed the helm of SOMD, but we haven't managed to find a plan that meets the requirements. In recognition of the accelerated schedule for FY07 budget preparation being implemented by OMB, I would like you to approach this task from the following perspective:

1. Assume serial processing of all Shuttle operations as soon as possible in FY06. Provide an estimate for the number of Shuttle flights that can realistically be flown between now and the end of FY2010, assuming serial processing. Specify all operational assumptions necessary to execute the serial processing plan, including required workforce reductions and cost impacts of such.

2. Given the estimated number of Shuttle flights available between now and the end of 2010, and reserving one flight for a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, recommend an ISS assembly sequence in which the highest priority is placed on flights to meet International Partner commitments.

3. Identify specific operational risks, if any, resulting from this course of action. Identify and recommend mitigation steps for each risk. Categorize risks by those that are unacceptable from a safety perspective, those that impact operational efficiencies and logistics, and those that impact research capabilities.

4. Estimate reductions in SOMD budget projections relative to the current 18+1 baseline (as reflected in the overguide request) by the above course of action. Estimate a range of potential reductions in contractor and civil servant support.

5. In conjunction with Office of External Relations and Office of General Counsel, identify the potential range of fiscal liabilities from any failure to meet International Partner commitments. Such liabilities should be as specific as possible, with potential liens to Agency budget projections, and should include potential mitigating factors, if any.

Th Offices of PA&E and the CFO should be consulted to provide independent verification of the recommended SOMD cost estimates and budget projections. OSMA should be consulted for independent verification of potential risks and mitigation measures. I must have an initial assessment by COB Thursday, 13 October 2005. The final report is needed by COB Friday, 4 November 2005. If you have any questions, please contact Scott Pace or me.

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