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Record Details

Record 30 of 2416
Implementation of Programmatic Quality and the Impact on Safety
Author and Affiliation:
Huls, Dale Thomas(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States)
Meehan, Kevin(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implementation of a programmatic quality assurance discipline within the International Space Station Program and the resulting impact on safety. NASA culture has continued to stress safety at the expense of quality when both are extremely important and both can equally influence the success or failure of a Program or Mission. Although safety was heavily criticized in the media after Col~imbiaa, strong case can be made that it was the failure of quality processes and quality assurance in all processes that eventually led to the Columbia accident. Consequently, it is possible to have good quality processes without safety, but it is impossible to have good safety processes without quality. The ISS Program quality assurance function was analyzed as representative of the long-term manned missions that are consistent with the President s Vision for Space Exploration. Background topics are as follows: The quality assurance organizational structure within the ISS Program and the interrelationships between various internal and external organizations. ISS Program quality roles and responsibilities with respect to internal Program Offices and other external organizations such as the Shuttle Program, JSC Directorates, NASA Headquarters, NASA Contractors, other NASA Centers, and International Partner/participants will be addressed. A detailed analysis of implemented quality assurance responsibilities and functions with respect to NASA Headquarters, the JSC S&MA Directorate, and the ISS Program will be presented. Discussions topics are as follows: A comparison of quality and safety resources in terms of staffing, training, experience, and certifications. A benchmark assessment of the lessons learned from the Columbia Accident Investigation (CAB) Report (and follow-up reports and assessments), NASA Benchmarking, and traditional quality assurance activities against ISS quality procedures and practices. The lack of a coherent operational and sustaining quality assurance strategy for long-term manned space flight. An analysis of the ISS waiver processes and the Problem Reporting and Corrective Action (PRACA) process implemented as quality functions. Impact of current ISS Program procedures and practices with regards to operational safety and risk A discussion regarding a "defense-in-depth" approach to quality functions will be provided to address the issue of "integration vs independence" with respect to the roles of Programs, NASA Centers, and NASA Headquarters. Generic recommendations are offered to address the inadequacies identified in the implementation of ISS quality assurance. A reassessment by the NASA community regarding the importance of a "quality culture" as a component within a larger "safety culture" will generate a more effective and value-added functionality that will ultimately enhance safety.
Publication Date: May 25, 2005
Document ID:
(Acquired Apr 03, 2007)
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) Conference; 25-27 Oct. 2005; Nice; France
Financial Sponsor: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Organization Source: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Description: 2p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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