Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel
- February 1999.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- This report covers the activities of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) for calendar year 1998-a year of sharp contrasts and significant successes at NASA. The year opened with the announcement of large workforce cutbacks. The slip in the schedule for launching the International Space Station (ISS) created a 5-month hiatus in Space Shuttle launches. This slack period ended with the successful and highly publicized launch of the STS-95 mission. As the year closed, ISS assembly began with the successful orbiting and joining of the Functional Cargo Block (FGB), Zarya, from Russia and the Unity Node from the United States. Throughout the year, the Panel maintained its scrutiny of NASAs safety processes. Of particular interest were the potential effects on safety of workforce reductions and the continued transition of functions to the Space Flight Operations Contractor. Attention was also given to the risk management plans of the Aero-Space Technology programs, including the X-33, X-34, and X-38. Overall, the Panel concluded that safety is well served for the present. The picture is not as clear for the future. Cutbacks have limited the depth of talent available. In many cases, technical specialties are "one deep." The extended hiring freeze has resulted in an older workforce that will inevitably suffer significant departures from retirements in the near future. The resulting "brain drain" could represent a future safety risk unless appropriate succession planning is started expeditiously. This and other topics are covered in the section addressing workforce. In the case of the Space Shuttle, beneficial and mandatory safety and operational upgrades are being delayed because of a lack of sufficient present funding. Likewise, the ISS has little flexibility to begin long lead-time items for upgrades or contingency planning.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19990036703.
- No Copyright.
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