About Us

The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) assures the safety and enhances the success of all NASA activities through the development, implementation and oversight of agency-wide safety, reliability, maintainability and quality assurance policies and procedures. OSMA includes the Mission Support Division, Safety and Assurance Requirements Division, and NASA Safety Center, as well as the Independent Verification and Validation Facility.

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Responsible for

  • Establishing and assuring compliance with NASA Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) strategies, policies and standards
  • Fostering early integration and life-cycle implementation of Safety, Reliability, Maintainability and Quality Assurance (SRM&QA) into NASA's programs and operations
  • Improving methodologies for risk identification and assessment and providing recommendations for risk mitigation and acceptance
  • Performing independent SMA assessments and process verification reviews
  • Providing analysis and recommendations for critical agency safety decisions
  • Sponsoring the innovation and rapid transfer of SRM&QA technologies, processes and techniques to improve safety and reliability and reduce the cost of mission success

Terrence W. Wilcutt


Terrence W. Wilcutt was appointed NASA's chief of Safety and Mission Assurance, effective Sept. 1, 2011. He succeeds Bryan O'Connor, who retired from the agency on Aug. 31, 2011.

Wilcutt is a retired Marine colonel and veteran astronaut who had served as director of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston since 2008. In that position Wilcutt was tasked with the Safety Technical Authority of the programs and projects at JSC as well as JSC's Institutional Safety program.

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Harold M. Bell

Deputy Chief

Harold "Hal" Bell is the deputy chief, Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA Headquarters. In this position, he is responsible for executive leadership, policy direction, functional management and coordination for agency-wide program and institutional safety and mission assurance activities.

Prior to being appointed to this position, Bell was the NASA deputy chief engineer, NASA Headquarters, responsible for executive leadership and policy direction for the technical readiness of all NASA programs and projects.

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Organizational Chart

Organizational Chart


This organizational chart shows the various areas of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA), the relationships between these areas, and staff information.

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The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) includes the Safety and Assurance Requirements Division (SARD), Mission Support Division (MSD), and NASA Safety Center (NSC), as well as the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility. Read more about each division below.


Safety and Assurance Requirements Division

SARD fosters and continually advances the state of NASA’s Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) through the development and promulgation of policy, standards, guidance, technical knowledge and capabilities.

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Mission Support Division

MSD is the primary interface with customers of OSMA. These customers include the NASA mission directorates and center SMA organizations to which MSD provides oversight, policy, and procedural guidance and support.

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NASA Safety Center

The NSC provides SMA expertise, information, verification and analysis to enable collaboration and learning while promoting a safe workplace and successful programs and projects.

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Independent Verification and Validation

NASA's IV&V Program was established in 1993 as part of an agency-wide strategy to provide the highest achievable levels of safety and cost-effectiveness for mission critical software.

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