Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
Federal Laboratory Review
NASA Implementation Report
The following four questions were posed by OSTP to NASA, the Department
of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Defense (DoD), based on
Presidential Decision Directive(PDD)/NSTC-5, Guidelines for Federal
Laboratory Reform. All three agencies were asked to provide information
about what has been accomplished, what is planned to be accomplished,
and obstacles encountered or anticipated in implementing the directives
of the PDD.
August 23, 1996
1. "What steps have been taken to reduce internal management orders,
regulations, and redundant oversight? Please provide baseline and
performance measures that demonstrate the affect of these changes on
scientists, programs, laboratories, and the age ncy."
In May 1994, NASA had 1656 regulations which were not required by law.
The National Performance Review (NPR) and Executive Order 12861 mandated
elimination of one-half of these internal regulations. As of June 1996,
NASA had exceeded this objective by reducing its internal regulations by
63.1 percent. This resulted in a 50.4 percent reduction in page count,
and NASA expects further reductions as it reengineers its business
practices and processes. (Attachment 1 provides a summary of these
To further reduce redundant oversight, NASA is revising its program
review process. This initiative is being accomplished by an Agencywide
Provide Aerospace Products & Capabilities cross-cutting
process team. An outgrowth of previous study work, the Provide
Aerospace Products & Capabilities team was established at the
April 2-3, 1996 NASA Senior Management Strategic Planning Retreat. The
team is implementing 13 specific recommendations that were approved by
Senior Management at the April retreat including a recommendation to
provide a coordinated Agency program review process. The approach is to
define a NASA Policy Directive (NPD), limited to four pages, and issue
it in the fall of 1996. The NPD will be followed by a NASA Procedures
& Guidelines (NPG) document which will contain guidance and best
practice information. Together, they will replace NASA's NMI 7120.4 and
NHB 7120.5, ÒManagement of Major System Programs and
ProjectsÓ, although their applicability will be more
comprehensive, including not only major programs, but also
smaller/faster/cheaper programs that result from new ways of doing
business. The NPD is now in final review prior to issuance. The NPG has
been outlined and is scheduled for development following the NPD's
NASA expects the time for program reviews to be reduced as a result of
this process team effort. More importantly, by reducing the necessary
review time spent by senior technical leaders, these leaders will be
able to focus more of their efforts on getting the technical job done
2. "What steps have been taken to clarify and focus laboratory
missions and assignments? Has redundancy been eliminated and to what
degree has the laboratory system been restructured?"
The NASA Strategic Plan has been successful in clarifying and
focusing the future direction of the Agency through the establishment of
a Vision, Mission, and Strategic Roadmaps of near-, mid-, and long-term
goals for the Agency and its Strategic Enterprises. The current plan,
issued February 1996 (Attachment 2), provides further definition and
clarification of its Laboratory (Center) and Headquarters missions and
assignments. The document builds on previous plans by establishing
Centers of Excellence that will lead to the streamlining and
consolidation of the Agency's technical capabilities. Being identified
as a Center of Excellence gives each NASA Center focused, Agencywide
leadership responsibilities in a specific area of technology or knowledge.
Centers of Excellence are chartered with clear definitions of their
capabilities and boundaries. They are not program entities; they are
fiscally supported by program and/or institutional resources, with
funding flowing from the Strategic Enterprises. The Centers of
Excellence are different in scope and approach, and each will be
individually defined in a Center of Excellence Plan that is reviewed and
approved at the Agency level. The Centers of Excellence are available
to all of the Strategic Enteprises and external customers to provide
cost-effective and high-quality service.
The designated Centers of Excellence are Ames Research Center (ARC):
Information Technology; Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC):
Atmospheric Flight Operations; Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC):
Scientific Research; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL): Deep Space
Systems; Johnson Space Center (JSC): Human Operations in Space; Kennedy
Space Center (KSC): Launch and Cargo Processing Systems; Langley
Research Center (LaRC): Structures and Materials; Lewis Research Center
(LeRC): Turbomachinery; Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC): Space
Propulsion; and Stennis Space Center (SSC): Propulsion Testing Systems.
In addition to establishing Centers of Excellence, Center Missions have
been assigned to clarify and streamline management responsibilities and
to identify the primary concentration of capabilities to support the
accomplishment of Strategic Enterprise goals. Each Center now has
designated areas of responsibility that provide a basis for building
human resource capabilities and physical infrastructure in direct
support of Enterprise requirements. Enterprise program and project
assignments are based on mission designations. The Centers with
Agencywide management responsibility for supporting Enterprises have
been identified. The others will continue to provide support capabilities.
In addition to identifying Centers of Excellence and Center Missions,
NASA's new strategic management system also includes a Lead Center
concept. Each NASA program is assigned to a Lead Center for
implementation. In making these assignments, NASA's Enterprise
Associate Administrators consider other Center responsibilities since
Lead Centers have full program management responsibility, authority, and
accountability. Although the Enterprise Associate Administrators
configure the programs and establish specific performance-level
requirements for each program, Lead Center Directors must ensure that
assigned programs are managed to agreed-upon schedules, budget
guidelines, technical requirements, and safety and reliability standards.
In addition, Lead Center Directors establish supporting assignments for
other Centers and delegate management responsibility to the Program
Managers that report to them.
Lower level definitions of the Research and Development (R&D)
process must still be developed to streamline and strengthen the
effectiveness with which NASA accomplishes its missions. The
Provide Aerospace Products and Capabilities cross-cutting process
team has begun defining and clarifying the activities that are involved,
including Aeronautics and Space Technology Development, Program/Project
Management, and Space Operations Services.
Major site closures completed to date include Edwards Test Station -
closed 1995, Slidell Computer Complex - closed 1995, and Yellow Creek -
closed 1996. There has also been considerable consolidation of
facilities, including 25 wind tunnel and aeropropulsion closures since
1993. These have been important steps in the process of focusing
program management functions at the Centers and eliminating unnecessary
redundancy in activity between Headquarters and the Centers as well as
Communication is vital to the effectiveness of any organization, and it
is even more crucial for NASA as it proceeds with plans for change.
NASA recognizes this and is using the mechanism of a Strategic
Management Handbook to define and communicate responsibilities to lower
levels. The Handbook has been drafted, reviewed at the July 1996 Senior
Management Strategic Planning Meeting, and editing is nearly complete.
The draft is now being reviewed by employee focus groups. Once
completed, NASA Senior Managers will sign and endorse the document prior
to final printing.
3. "What has been done to streamline and improve management
practices, both at the agency and in the laboratories? What impact have
these actions had on efficiency and effectiveness of the laboratory
system? Please include information about personnel reductions, both at
the agency and at the laboratories. Also provide a list of redundant
and/or lower priority programs, projects, and activities that have been
eliminated or significantly reduced and the savings (in FTEs and
dollars) from each reducti on or elimination."
NASA's broad mission is driven by the Space Act of 1958, and the
specific programs and priorities conducted within the Enterprises are
driven by the directives of the administration and Congress. Within
this framework, the Agency has set a target to deliver world-class
programs and cutting-edge technology through a revolutionized NASA by
the year 2002, and the Agency has already taken seven significant steps
to accomplish this.
First, NASA is responding to the needs of the American people and its
other customers in industry, the science and academic communities, and
other Government agencies, by returning NASA to a world-class R&D
agency. NASA is renewing its focus on the development and application
of new cutting-edge technologies and giving up-front consideration to
the potential commercial use of these technologies.
Second, the February, 1996 NASA Strategic Plan (Attachment-2) outlines
the NASA Vision, Mission, and Strategic Outcomes which establish the
direction of NASA's personnel. Approved by all Senior Managers of NASA,
it includes the goals and strategies to accomplish this vision. It is
the foundation upon which NASA's management streamlining activity is built.
Third, throughout NASA, managers and employees at all levels are
reinventing NASA by doing things faster, better, and cheaper without
compromising safety. The 1995 NASA Management Initiatives Report Card
(Attachment 3) cites over 600 examples of improved management practices
initiated or accomplished over the past 3 years. These have ranged from
Systems Engineering Program Management (developing systems engineering
guidelines/standards for Agency program/project management) to
privatization (such as procuring both development and operations of the
Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy [SOFIA] to help assure
lowest life-cycle costs).
Fourth, to further streamline and improve management practices at NASA
Centers, Lead Centers have been identified, including ARC as Lead Center
for Consolidated Management of NASA's Supercomputing Resources; GSFC to
include Headquarters Procurement; and MSFC as Lead Center for Earned
Value Performance Management, Consolidated Mainframe Computer
Operations, and Logistics/Business Systems Operations
and Maintenance. Lead Center responsibility for Space Operations has
been assigned to JSC, and support is provided by a multi-center
organization with staff located at JSC (integrated Operations
Management), GSFC (Mission Services Management), JPL (Data Services
Management), and MSFC (Commercial Services Management).
Fifth, at its April 1996 Senior Management Strategic Planning Meeting,
30 specific actions were selected for implementation to streamline and
improve management practices. These actions include providing more
effective customer and supplier involvement in the definition process;
providing a process for managing risk while ensuring incorporation of
new technologies; providing a process for timely, coordinated updates to
program plans; providing a coordinated program review process;
incorporating concurrent engineering into project management; providing
a process for crosscutting functional requirements to be developed and
managed; producing a comprehensive Space Technology Plan; establishing a
process to expedite the insertion of technology into programs;
instituting uniform independent assessment procedures; and enhancing
training and education in program/project management to support NASA
restructuring activities. Responsibilities were assigned, and plans to
implement are being developed. Although portions will be completed
sooner, the goal is to complete the revolution of NASA by the year 2002.
Sixth, with its renewed focus on R&D, NASA is also strengthening its
efforts to privatize functions where practical. The most recent step in
this direction is NASA's plan to privatize Space Shuttle Operations,
reducing cost without compromising safety. Negotiations are currently
underway, and a fully defined contract will be in place by October 1,
1996. The pace at which functions will be turned over to contractor
control will be determined by demonstrated contractor performance, and
the contract will provide incentives to the contractor to expedite the
Seventh, NASA has taken steps to reduce its aircraft fleet and improve
operational effectiveness. Since 1993, total fleet size has been
reduced from 149 to 106 aircraft. This reduction of 43 aircraft
represents an inventory book-value decrease of over $200 million.
Centralization of the NASA R&D and program support aircraft fleet at
DFRC and JSC is also under active consideration.
With the prospect of declining budgets in the years ahead, NASA's
plans of management reforms and improvements to increase effectiveness
and efficiency are based on a central strategy of streamlining the
organization. NASA considers its highly skilled workforce, including
scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrative and support
professionals, as its most important asset, so Agency managers are
planning streamlining actions with great care.
NASA began restructuring efforts in 1993 when Agencywide staff
included 25,000 civil service personnel. Following intense downsizing
efforts, NASA now has an employment level of just under 21,000. By the
year 2000, the Agency plans to have less than 18,000 civil service
personnel. This workforce size resulted from a comprehensive Zero-Base
Review (ZBR) that redefined roles, missions, and program management
structures consistent with outyear funding levels reflected in NASA's FY
1996 budget. Restructuring and streamlining efforts have continually
focused both on reducing costs and improving management and program
As described previously, NASA is in the midst of a management
revolution. Headquarters will determine 'what" the Agency does and
"why", but NASA's Centers are assuming full responsibility for
determining "how" the programs are implemented and "how" the work gets
done. The level of activities controlled by Headquarters is being
reduced while the activities managed at the Centers are expanding.
Accountability will rest at the management level where the work is
NASA as a whole will experience an overall staff reduction of
approximately 30 percent from FY 1993 to FY 2000. NASA recently
established a revised target staffing level of 951 for Headquarters
which is consistent with both the NPR guidance to reduce staffing levels
at all Federal agency headquarters offices by 50 percent and the new
NASA management model which delegates additional operational
responsibilities to NASA Centers and focuses NASA Headquarters on
strategic management. NASA Headquarters organizations are currently
assessing the earliest date by which this revised workforce level can be
achieved to ensure that it can be in place to oversee the balance of
Agency downsizing activities.
Attachment 4 provides the latest published NASA employment targets
and schedule, as well as breakouts for each of the Centers and
Headquarters. Skill level targets which are being monitored in
compliance with the NPR goals also are shown, as is NASA's actual
performance relative to these targets.
NASA also has been steadily reducing its number of supervisors. When
the NPR issued its report in September 1993, NASA had just over 3,700
employees in supervisory positions. The NASA streamlining plan set a
goal of improving the Agency's supervisory ratio by a factor of two, and
after two successive buyouts and on-going restructuring, the number of
NASA supervisors is down to 2,125. Several Centers are already
approaching the target employee-to-supervisor ratio range, as shown in
Attachment 4, and sta ffing numbers will continue to decline.
Although NASA is attempting to preserve programs, the budget outlook
suggests that future actions may include some project eliminations.
Specifics are being developed and will be provided as part of the
NASA Budget submissions.
4. "What steps have been taken to coordinate and integrate laboratory
resources and facilities within the agency and with other agencies?"
A. Coordination and Integration within the Agency
Within the Agency, NASA assigned action officers to review each of the
88 recommendations which resulted from the interagency National Facility
Study (NFS). Seventy-two of the recommendations have been accepted by
NASA fully or with modification; 8 have been rejected; and 8 remain
open. Attachment 5 provides the current status of all 88
recommendations, including Category 1 (recommendations for facility or
other actions) and Category 2 (areas which the NFS Task Team believed to
merit detailed study, bas ed on their preliminary analysis).
The NFS was followed by the NASA ZBR which started in the fall of
1994. A small internal NASA team was appointed to oversee and integrate
the effort which focused on developing recommendations for achieving the
following four objectives:
- Fundamentally change the way NASA does business to make it more
efficient and effective;
- Strengthen NASA's position as the premier R&D Agency;
- Establish Center role assignments, missions, and areas of
- Achieve Agencywide savings of approximately $4 billion in the
FY 1997-2000 budget plan.
The team's recommendations were made to the Administrator and NASA
Senior Management in May 1995 and were an important basis for many later
decisions. For example, NASA's subsequent designation of Centers of
Excellence and Center Missions will reduce unnecessary redundancy
between the Centers and provide opportunities for establishing 'best in
class" capabilities even in the face of decreasing budgets. Added
incentive will be provided as full-cost accounting is established
throughout the Agency and each Enterprise manages its facility operating
B. Coordination and Integration with Other Agencies
Coordination and integration among NASA and other agencies has been
particularly close with DoD, although there are also important areas of
coordination with DOE, the Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation
Administration (DOT/FAA), and the Natio nal Institutes of Health (NIH).
At present, there are 356 separate agreements between NASA and DoD on
research collaboration and other areas of cooperation. Collocated DoD
teams include U.S. Army teams at LaRC (55 persons), ARC (100 persons),
and LeRC (55 persons), all of which are using NASA wind tunnel
facilities for rotary wing related research projects. Other work is
underway at various levels of security classification.
Partly as a result of the Federal Laboratory Review, NASA and DoD
defined and conducted a 7-month study of ways in which the two agencies
could work together more effectively. This work was carried out under
the direction of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board
(AACB), chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology, Dr. Paul Kaminski, and NASA Acting Deputy Administrator,
General John Dailey. Joint agency Integrated Product Teams (IPT)
studied opportunities in Technology and Laboratories, Space Launch,
Satellite Telemetry Tracking and Commanding, Center/Base Support and
Services, Interagency Agreements, Personnel Exchange, and Major Facilities.
General results from the NASA/DoD Cooperation Initiative include
increased Science and Technology reliance through integrated planning,
new opportunities for sharing of base/Center support infrastructure, a
NASA/DoD personnel exchange program which has already been partially
implemented, and revitalization of standing AACB panels to continue
coordination and track recommendation implementation.
Examples of specific cost avoidances include combining spacecraft
technology demonstrations and sharing results from each agency's
experiments - $60 million; and sharing a C-17 aircraft hangar at Edwards
Air Force Base/DFRC -- $14 million. Additional savings at Edwards/DFRC
are sharing the cryogenics systems facility - $60,000/year; NASA use of
the Air Force's aircraft paint facility - $128,000/year; and Air Force
use of DFRC's tracking radar - $370,000/year. At Langley Air Force
Base/LaRC, a $445,000 cost avoidance can be achieved through joint use
of an alternate fueling facility. At the Army's Redstone Arsenal/MSFC,
a cost avoidance of $200,000/year can be realized by the Army's use of
MSFC's photo laboratory.
NASA and DoD have also completed development of a Major Facilities
Inventory which provides the characteristics of 1,494 NASA and DoD
facilities in condensed and common format. It is accessible from the
NASA Headquarters Internet Home Page under "What's New", and from the
DoD Test, Systems Engineering, and Evaluation Home Page. The data base
includes the facilities that were identified by the subgroups for
alliances. This will not only be a key tool for the facility planners
in both agencies, but it will also serve as an excellent reference for
experimentalists wishing to use Government facilities. Its utility is
likely to go beyond the NASA/DoD Cooperation Initiative. An additional
181 DOE and Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration facilities are included and being updated, and DOT/FAA
has indicated interest in adding its facilities to this common data base.
In addition to these cost avoidances, the Major Facilities IPT
focused on issues related to the May 15, 1995, Interagency Federal
Laboratory Review Final Report, Section 11B recommendations. The IPT
concluded that there are long-term cooperative opportunities in six
broad major facility categories: wind tunnels, air breathing propulsion,
rocket propulsion, space environmental, hypervelocity ballistic
range/impact, and arc-heated facilities. It was apparent that while
useful interchange was occurring between the various technical
organizations, more long-term gain will be accomplished if this is
strengthened with formal alliances between the key line organizations.
Implementation of these alliances has been approved by the AACB, and
Memoranda of Agre ement have been drafted.
The following three questions were posed by OSTP to NASA and DoD.
I. "What is the status of NASA and DoD responses to the
recommendations contained in the May 15, 1995, Interagency Federal
Laboratory Review Final Report, the February, 1995, report of NASA's
Federal Laboratory Review Task Force, (and the February, 1995,
memorandum from Jones to Gibbons? [DoD only]). Future Plans?"
A. Federal Laboratory Review Final Report (May 15, 1995)
NASA provided an initial status on implementing the Report's
recommendations on April 25, 1996 (Attachment 6) and a final status on
July 9, 1996 (Attachment 7). As described in the response to questions
2 and 3 above, NASA has taken appropriate and aggressive steps in
focusing missions for the Centers, delegating program responsibility to
the Centers, and reducing staff at Headquarters and the Centers.
Following careful review, it was determined that program management
delegations to the Centers beyond those suggested were practical and
are, therefore, being implemented. Staff-reduction targets and the
schedule for reduction in Headquarters staff were preceded by a thorough
review of functions, requirements, and priorities. As shown in
Attachment 4, the Headquarters staff has decreased by 36 percent since
FY 1993. It is now very important that the Agency Buyout Authority
requested in the House VA/HUD/Independent Agencies Appropriation Bill
for 1997 be approved so that proper skill mix and diversity
distributions can be achieved as further reductions are implemented.
Detailed Center reduction planning will take place using the
Headquarters plans as input.
Regarding the recommendation that NASA review its oversight of JPL
and take immediate steps to remove excessive oversight burdens, the NASA
Office of Space Science has conducted a review of management oversight
of JPL and program enablement, and a four-step approach has been taken.
First, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been negotiated among
NASA's Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Contract Audit
Agency, and the JPL Management Office which provides for audit
coordination to eliminate redundancy and duplication of audit
activities. Second, following a comprehensive review of JPL task
orders, the total number was reduced to a manageable level through
selective consolidation. Third, NASA staff performing oversight of JPL
operations will be reduced by 40 percent as part of the Headquarters
downsizing and reorganization plan. And fourth, the Office of Space
Science is undertaking a further study to identify, evaluate, and
recommend additional management actions that will further improve
the effectiveness of the NASA/JPL interface.
The recommendation that NASA explore possibilities for putting some
of its Centers, or parts of them, under management of a university or
consortium has been earnestly considered. NASA established a high-level
Institutes Task Force to develop Science Institute options whereby NASA
Science Institutes could be established within the next 2 years. The
formation of the first of these NASA Science Institutes, the National
Space Biomedical Research Institute at JSC, was initiated by release of
the Cooperative Agreement Notice on June 10, 1996. Two additional
Institutes were proposed for implementation, one each at the ARC and
LeRC. The Institutes Task Force felt strongly that the success of these
institutes could well depend on certain legislative relief. The Office
of Government Ethics, however, objected to NASA's request for a limited
exception to the post-employment restrictions and procurement integrity
statutes, and the Office of Personnel Management objected to NASA's
request to permit an employee who accepted employment with a Science
Institute to continue to participate in the Civil Service Retirement
System, the Federal Employees Retirement System, and/or the Federal
Employee Health Benefits Program. The legislation would have enabled
movement of key technical people from NASA into the Science Institutes
to make the plan successful. Rather than proceed in face of the risks
identified by the task force, NASA discontinued efforts to establish
Science Institutes at the ARC and LeRC. The Agency will now consider
other options to continue to enhance the quality of science at the
Centers as documented in an April 3, 1996, letter from the NASA
Administrator to Dr. John Gibbons, OSTP (Attachment 8).
B. NASA Federal Laboratory Review (NASA Advisory Council Task
Force Review, February 1995)
NASA considered the 74 recommendations contained in this study as
part of the ZBR and other reviews. Many of the recommendations have
been accepted and are part of the 1996 NASA Strategic Plan and
Enterprise plans. Complete responses to each of these recommendations
are provided in Attachment 9.
II. "How do NASA and DoD plan to interface with the private sector in
setting priorities for R&D facilities planning, management,
consolidation, and closure?"
In brief, the private sector is heavily involved in setting
priorities for R&D facilities planning, management, consolidation,
and closure, although the type of involvement varies depending on the
type of facility and the applications. For example, aeronautic
facilities are included in the overall Aeronautics Enterprise Program
Plan which is developed in collaboration with the private sector.
(Attachment 10 outlines this process.) Industry is given highest
priority in the Unitary Plan Tunnels which were established to support
the private sector, and priorities in other tunnels are also established
to give maximum opportunity to potential users consistent with
established facility procedures.
Similar, but less formal procedures, are followed to promote
private-sector use of space related facilities. Experimental programs
in liquid rocket, hybrid rocket, structures and materials, thermal
vacuum, thermal protection systems, hypervelocity impact, and many other
areas have been conducted to meet private-sector needs. Usually, the
experimenter is on site, and proprietary protection is provided.
Part of the challenge for the private sector is knowing what
Government facilities are available, their performance characteristics,
and whom to contact for further information. The Major Facilities
Inventory previously described, is an important step toward addressing
this challenge; 705 NASA facilities and 789 DoD facilities are
included. The system is also being expanded to accommodate
private-sector facility information (if the owner desires).
III. "Are there any issues identified in Presidential Review
Directive NSTC-1 which have not been adequately addressed?"
NSTC-1 states that "Other laboratory systems may be given focused
attention in subsequent interagency reviewsÓ. If OSTP decides to
enlarge the review, it should be noted that NASA has considerable
involvement with DOT/FAA, DOE and NIH.
A. NASA and DOT/FAA
There has been a long-term relationship between NASA and FAA in which
NASA performs technology development work for FAA and uses NASA
facilities and technical expertise to help meet the technology needs of
FAA. The work is highly collaborative, including such items as
development of wind shear warning to aid pilots in takeoff and landing,
and evaluation of advanced air traffic control techniques.
B. NASA and DOE
NASA's Office of Life & Microgravity Sciences & Applications
and DOE's Energy Research Division signed an MOU in September 1995 for
an important spaceflight payload cooperative program. Under the MOU,
NASA will fly the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), first on the Space
Shuttle and, subsequently, on the International Space Station. The AMS
was developed by DOE in cooperation with several international
partners, and it will be used to collect accelerated space particles.
Its objective is to discover signs of anti-matter in the galaxy. The
results of research using the AMS will be of great importance to the
fundamental physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and particle physics
technical communities. NASA is building a container to hold the AMS in
the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle and on the International Space
Station. The first launch is scheduled for May 1998.
DOE has been a supplier of radioisotope thermoelectric generators which
have been commonly used in the past by NASA/JPL on deep space missions.
This arrangement has capitalized on DOE's expertise in nuclear energy
and avoids duplication of capabilities between the two agencies in this
area. While NASA is minimizing its use of radioisotopes for future
missions, some missions will still require radioisotope power sources.
As such, the long-term availability of the fuel source may be an issue
for review to make sure that power supplies are available at reasonable
cost within the United States.
NASA's Office of Aeronautics and DOE's Environmental Sciences Office
have signed a Memorandum of Agreement concerning "Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle Technology Development and Flight Demonstration" to facilitate
cooperation and promote synergism in the execution of the NASA
Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program.
C. NASA and NIH
The NASA-NIH partnership is one in which each partner brings its
unique strengths and expertise to the cooperative activities. NASA
addresses problems not appropriate for NIH and provides advice and
support to the science community on payload requirements. There are
over 20 active MOU's between NASA and NIH.
In microgravity research, NASA is working with the NIH National Eye
Institute to transfer NASA technology involving the use of laser light
scattering to detect early signs of cataract formation. NASA is also
collaborating with researchers at the National Eye Institute using
protein crystal growth technology to determine structures of important
proteins related to the signal pathway for sight.
In life sciences, cooperation with NIH has expanded. NASA is
collaborating with the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious
Diseases on the use of NASA remote sensing technology to detect vectors
for the path of certain diseases. Work has also been initiated with the
National Cancer Institute to examine the effect of radiation in inducing
cancer and injuring cells.
Table of Contents
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only