• New Explosives Safety Course for Managers, Supervisors and Non-Explosives Personnel

    NASA’s Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program recently released “Explosives Safety Awareness Training for Managers, Supervisors and Non-Explosives Personnel” (SMA-HQ-WBT-222) in SATERN. This online course provides an overview of Explosives Safety flow-down requirements and responsibilities for program, project and element managers throughout NASA. It emphasizes the responsibilities of personnel and safety awareness of operations that involve the handling, storage, transportation and processing of explosives.

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  • Managing Vegetation for Explosives Safety

    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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  • OSMA Partners With NSC on New Training for Expected Cost Savings

    The Office of Safety and Mission’s (OSMA) Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program recently released new online SATERN training, “Basic Explosive Safety Refresher,” to the agency.

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  • How NASA Centers Manage Explosives Risks

    When working with explosives, it’s essential to fully understand the hazards and potential risks to employees and facilities in the area should something go wrong. However, it’s also possible for non-explosive materials to become energetic in a way that poses similar, potentially deadly and damaging risks. These high-risk operations — whether relative to “traditional” explosives or energetic materials — need to be properly managed to ensure a safe work environment. How Explosives Safety Officers are assessing and managing that risk varies from center to center to accommodate the diverse environments and work being done. The following examples show how three unique NASA centers and facilities are managing these risks.

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  • Requirement Amendment for Storage and Distribution of Small Arms Ammunition

    The Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program recently updated its policy regarding the storage and distribution of small arms ammunition.

    Managing the oversight of ammunition affects both the Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program and center security offices, and requires careful definition of responsibilities and processes to eliminate redundant activities between the two groups.

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Explosives Safety and Pyrotechnic Working Group

The Explosives Safety and Pyrotechnic Working Group (ESPWG) helps to maintain agency explosives, propellant and pyrotechnic capabilities. This is accomplished through training, identifying needed areas of research, and providing advice and assistance to NASA programs and projects as requested. Assistance is provided in explosives and pyrotechnic system design, research and development, testing, application, failure and hazards analyses, and investigations of mission and ground test anomalies involving explosives and pyrotechnic systems and components. The ESPWG is also a resource for addressing NASA explosives, propellant and pyrotechnic issues.

PES Working Group

Sandra Hudson

Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety Program Manager

Learn more about Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety Program Manager Sandra Hudson.

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Points of Contact

For details on contacting an Explosives and  Pyrotechnics Safety Point of Contact (PoC) for your location, click below.

Find Your PoC



Instructor-Led Courses

NASA Basic Explosives Safety Course NASA-EXPL-SAFE-101

The “NASA Basic Explosives Safety Course” provides basic Explosives Safety training for personnel throughout NASA who are involved in the handling, storing, transporting and processing of explosive materials. This includes technicians, engineers, scientists and managers whom will work with or be in the presence of explosives/pyrotechnic systems, components or explosive materials. The instruction emphasizes the safety aspect of these operations and is not intended to teach specific operations. The principle of Explosives Safety is to expose the minimum number of people to the minimum quantity of explosives for the minimum period of time consistent with the operation being conducted. This course is required for all Explosive Safety Officers and ordnance handlers.

NASA-EXPL-SAFE-101 Details Launch SATERN

Policy and Guidance


NASA-STD-8719.12NASA Safety Standard for Explosives, Propellants, and Pyrotechnics

This standard covers safety standards and procedures for operations involving explosives handling and processing. These operations are an integral part of explosives-related development and manufacturing activities.

See Policy NASA-STD-8719.12


Policy Title Buttons Buttons
DoD 6055.09-M
DoD Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards: Contingency Operations, Toxic Chemical Munitions and Agents, and Risk-Based Siting
DoD 6055.09-M Details See DoD 6055.09-M
Explosives Safety
DOE-STD-1212-2012 Details See DOE-STD-1212-2012
Air Force Manual 91-201
Explosives Safety Standards
Air Force Manual 91-201 Details See Air Force Manual 91-201
Commercial Item Description, Plastic Sheet, Polycarbonate
A-A-59502 Details See A-A-59502
New Mexico State University Procedures
Management Procedures for Organic Peroxide Forming Chemicals and other Explosive Chemicals
New Mexico State University Procedures Details See New Mexico State University Procedures