10 Years and Counting - The NASA Engineering & Safety Center

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The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) was established in 2003 to address a concern raised by Admiral Gehman, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Chairman, that NASA lacked a strong program-independent resource to provide programs an alternate perspective on difficult technical issues. The NESC fills this need by bringing together technical experts from across NASA, industry, other government agencies and academia and leveraging their expertise to solve problems.

Ten years after the Columbia tragedy it is human nature to begin to forget the important lessons learned from such an event. We should periodically remind ourselves of these lessons and continue to be ever vigilant in the pursuit of the Agency’s missions. NASA’s long successful history is grounded in a few fundamental safety tenets that are just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. This presentation will describe the factors that led to the creation of the NESC and the principles on which the organization was formed. After 10 years of operation, the NESC has established a model and management approach that efficiently capitalizes on the talent and skills across the Agency and has developed the processes that allow the work to be conducted in an open environment that encourages creative, robust technical solutions to problems.

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