"Reassessing Space Shuttle Upgrades Strategy"; Letter from OSF AA Fred Gregory to JSC Center Director

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2002

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, DC 20546-0001

March 25, 2002

To: Johnson Space Center
AA/Center Director

From: M/Associate Administrator for Space flight

Subject: Reassessing Space Shuttle Upgrades Strategy

As discussed at the March 14, 2002 Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Program Management Council (PMC), the current Space Shuttle Upgrade Strategy was based on the premise of ensuring the Space Shuttle can fly safely until 2012. I request that you develop a strategy as part of initial planning efforts to identify upgrades and supportability investment that may be required to maintain the Space Shuttle fleet capability to fly safely through 2020.

At a minimum, this activity should include an assessment of Space Shuttle elements, supportability, and upgrade candidates, ground support equipment supportability and upgrade candidates, and infrastructure supportability and upgrade candidates. The Space Shuttle Program (SSP) should be prepared to discuss philosophy and potential costs, risks, and benefits of upgrading systems versus ensuring Space Shuttle elements, GSE, and infrastructure supportability through 2020. The assessment should include identification of critical skills that must be available to enable the Shuttle or its sucessor to fly safely.

The Acting Deputy Associate Administrator of Space Shuttle, Parker Counts, shall integrate the policy, strategy, and schedule requirements of this assignment with the Space Shuttle Program Manager. The Space Shuttle Program Manager will be responsible for executing the activity. No commitment or decision has been made by Headquarters regarding Shuttle activities beyond 2012.

Frederick D. Gregory
Associate Administrator for Space Flight

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