Tidings From Trilateral

2-minute read
2013 Trilateral SMA Meeting

More than 50 Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) leaders, managers and practitioners from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C., Dec. 18-20, 2013, at the Trilateral SMA meeting.

Hosted by NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) this year, Trilateral is an executive-level meeting between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) SMA organizations. Attendees share their experiences and challenges and discuss topics concerning SMA in civil space programs, including policies and technical advances. Occasionally, members form joint task forces to perform more in-depth reviews.

This year’s meeting focused on

  • Support of future cooperative programs through comparative evaluations of standards
  • Reliability estimation tools and methods
  • Requirements and certification approaches for future crew transportation missions
  • Re-entry risk calculation methods
  • The sharing of alert information between agencies
Takeuchi, Wilcutt and Veith

SMA leaders Nobuo Takeuchi (JAXA),Terry Wilcutt (NASA) and Wolfgang Veith (ESA) sign the meeting minutes

Attendees also used this meeting to expound on the primary theme of last year's meeting in Japan — the expected increase in collaboration amongst the agencies and associated need to cooperate in the area of SMA. Attention also was given to human rating requirements, especially in light of developing commercial crew transportation capabilities.

In addition, attendees visited the nearby Goddard Space Flight Center for a tour.

"I think everyone walked away from this meeting armed with new information and perspectives to help guide future work," said Dr. Frank Groen, director of OSMA's Safety and Assurance Requirements Division. "The meeting resulted in a number of exchanges and collaborations to be pursued in preparation for the next Trilateral meeting in the spring of 2015."

The Trilateral meeting usually is held every one and a half years and rotates countries and locations. The next meeting will be hosted by ESA in the spring of 2015. NASA last hosted the meeting in 2010 at Glenn Research Center where presenters highlighted the NASA Safety Center.

For more information, contact Kelly Kabiri, management analyst at NASA Headquarters.

Trilateral Attendees

Trilateral attendees gather for a group photo with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden