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Brian Welch
Headquarters, Washington, DC                 March 9, 2000
(Phone:  202/358-1600)

Donald Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone:  202/358-1727)

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone:  202/358-1726)



The work of four review teams chartered by NASA to study its programs and practices is nearing completion, with reports scheduled for release today, next week and later in March.

The first report, to be released today, will be that of the Space Shuttle Independent Assessment Team, chartered in September 1999 and led by Ames Research Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald. NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight Joseph Rothenberg asked this independent technical team to study Space Shuttle maintenance and operations processes, provide a perspective of best practices in the aviation industry, and where applicable or appropriate apply those practices to the Space Shuttle Program. That report will be available on the NASA Home Page ( at Noon Eastern time on Thursday.

Two additional reports will be released on Monday March 13, also at Noon Eastern time via the NASA Home Page: the report on Faster, Better, Cheaper Project Management, and the final Report on Project Management in NASA by the Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board.

The report led by former Mars Pathfinder Project Manager Tony Spear was chartered by the Office of the Chief Engineer in mid- 1999 to make recommendations on a set of principles, tools and processes for ensuring NASA's success in adopting the "Faster, Better, Cheaper" approach to project planning, management and execution.

The Mars Climate Orbiter Phase I Report, released Nov. 10, 1999, identified the root cause and factors contributing to the Mars Climate Orbiter failure. The charter for this Phase II report, also led by Marshall Space Flight Center Director Art Stephenson, is to derive lessons learned from that failure and from other failed missions - as well as successful ones - and from them create a formula for future mission success.

An additional report, from the Mars Independent Assessment Team chaired by Thomas Young, will be available by the end of March. The team was chartered by Associate Administrator for Space Science Dr. Ed Weiler in the wake of the Mars Polar Lander failure to evaluate recent successful and unsuccessful deep space missions. Their assessment and findings will be considered in planning for future Mars exploration missions.

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