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NASA Releases New Planetary Protection Standard

2-minute read
Policy

NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance released NASA-STD-8719.27, Planetary Protection Standard, effective Aug. 30, 2022. The standard is a follow-on document complementing NPR 8715.24, Planetary Protection Provisions for Robotic Extraterrestrial Missions. It addresses and is relevant to both crewed and robotic missions and covers the technical details a mission should consider for the design and execution of the Planetary Protection mission throughout the project life cycle. It is relevant starting in the Mission Concept Review and System Requirements Review phase by defining the Planetary Protection categorization to end-of-mission disposal reporting.

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Additional Extension for Workmanship Standards Credentials

3-minute read
Risk Meter

In light of the logistical and safety constraints put upon NASA’s suppliers and training facilities due to COVID-19, NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance released its second memo, which endorses, with caveats, the extension of training credential validity periods for the majority of operators and inspectors employed by organizations who seek to comply with NASA Workmanship Standards for the assembly and Quality Assurance of NASA hardware. This extension is only applicable to individuals whose training credentials would have expired on or after Feb. 15, 2020. 

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Mars Perseverance Rover Set to Land on the Red Planet Feb. 18

2-minute read
Mars Helicopter, visible in lower center of the image, was attached to the belly of NASA

The Mars 2020 mission, including the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter, will land on Mars on February 18, 2021. A first on a Mars mission, the Sample Caching System included on Perseverance will collect and store short cores of Martian rocks and soils destined for future return to Earth and study with advanced instrumentation. The system is complex, including a drill for sample collection and tubes to seal and store the collected samples until a future mission can retrieve them.  

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Managing Vegetation for Explosives Safety

5-minute read
Vegetation

Vegetation control is a necessary and effective tool to minimize the risk of fire propagation into explosives storage magazines, which could lead to dangerous and costly accidents. Generally, vegetation around explosives storage sites is strictly controlled. The Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Transportation Security Administration all have specific regulations to control the potential damage to explosives storage magazines from a nearby fire. Similarly, NASA has NASA-STD-8719.12, Safety Standard for Explosives, Propellants, and Pyrotechnics section 5.4 Vegetation Control, which outlines the basic agency requirements for managing vegetation. However, how each center implements these controls varies to accommodate the centers’ environments and needs.

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Special Edition of EEE Parts Bulletin Now Available

1-minute read
EEEPartsBulletin-Hero

The latest issue of the EEE Parts Bulletin covers news from the Electrical, Electronic and Electromechanical (EEE) Parts. This issue focuses on the comparison of test methods for Human Body Model Electrostatic Discharge.

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New Issue of EEE Parts Bulletin Now Available

1-minute read
EEEPartsBulletin-Hero

The latest issue of the EEE Parts Bulletin covers news from the Electrical, Electronic and Electromechanical (EEE) Parts discipline from March 2020 through October 2020. 

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NEPP Provides Guidance on Gallium Nitride in Electronic Components

3-minute read
GAN-Hero

Gallium Nitride (GaN), a Wide Bandgap (WBG) semiconductor, is emerging as a promising material for electronic components in the aerospace industry. While historically semiconductor devices have been silicon-based, in recent years, devices using WBG materials such as silicon carbide and GaN have matured to a point where their performance and economic value are competitive with, or in some cases, exceed traditional silicon parts. 

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New ODQN Available: November 2020

1-minute read
ODQN Nov. 2020

The latest issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News (ODQN) is now available. See the latest updates as of November 2020. 

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SARP Deploys Software Assurance Tasking Checklist Tool for NASA-STD-8739.8A

3-minute read
SARP-Checklist-Hero

As part of the Software Assurance Research Program (SARP), the project team leading the “Software Assurance Tasking Checklists for NASA-STD-8739.8” project developed and deployed a tool to automate the identification of Software Assurance (SA) activities using Commercial Off-The-Shelf tools. This checklist tool is one of five research projects in Fiscal Year 2020 sponsored by SARP and aimed to address the current needs of the SA community across the agency.

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Human Factors Program: Year in Review

3-minute read
Human Factors

As the new calendar year approaches, the Human Factors Task Force (HFTF) started reflecting on its many achievements over the past 12 months. The team gained new members, offered and developed more training, and integrated Human Factors into the agency mishap reporting system.

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SMA Leadership Profile: Rick Nybakken

6-minute read
rick-nybakken-hero

Sometimes, being on the outside provides perspective. That’s the case for Rick Nybakken, director for Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

“My career path has really helped to shape me: I’ve been at JPL for 35 years, and I’ve probably been in SMA for eight of those years,” explained Nybakken. “Working with Safety and Mission Assurance as a partner helped me understand the value since day one. That contributed to my desire to eventually work in SMA and gain a greater understanding from the inside.” 

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