Agency Contingency Action Plan (CAP) for Space Flight Operations (SFO) [Full Text]

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2003


This document supersedes the Agency Contingency Action Plan for Space Flight Operations Dated November 2002


It is NASA policy to report, investigate, and document NASA mishaps. The Agency Contingency Action Plan (CAP) for Space Flight Operations (SFO) delineates the pre-planned contingency response to a SFO mishap. It covers actions to be taken by the NASA Administrator, the Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Flight (AA/OSF), NASA Headquarters, OSF Field Centers, and the Office of Space Flight (OSF) Programs and associated contractor personnel. NPG 8621.1 defines six mishap categories in that a contingency response is required. These mishap categories, along with established medical codes used by OSF, are defined in Appendix A of this plan.

A SFO mishap is defined here as any mishap, mission failure, incident, or high visibility close call that causes or may cause a major impact to space flight operations or prevents accomplishment of a primary mission objective involving OSF-controlled personnel, hardware, support equipment, or facilities or any personnel, hardware, software, equipment, or facilities that have been integrated with OSF-controlled flight related systems. An SFO mishap can involve any OSF space operations or development program, including suspected mishap situations at contractor facilities and/or government facilities operated under contract.

For any mishaps or close call, the Administrator may decide to appoint a Mishap Investigation Board (MIB) and activate the Headquarters Contingency Action Team. Type A and B mishaps, mission failures, and other mishaps that are judged to have a high degree of public interest will require a mishap board investigation. If there is a Type A mishap or mission failure, the AA/OSF will notify the Administrator and Associate Administrator for Safety and Mission Assurance (AA/SMA), who have the option of appointing a mishap investigation board. If the Administrator and AA/SMA decline to take action, the AA/OSF will appoint a board. This plan mainly addresses actions to be taken for Type A mishaps for which the Administrator or the AA/OSF has opted to appoint an investigation board and activate the Headquarters Contingency Action Team; however, it is also applicable for any other SFO-related failure, accident, or incident that creates a high degree of public interest and/or poses a threat to public safety.

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