1992 seen as NASA's most productive year for science discoveries

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Newsgroups: sci.space.news
From: [email protected] (Peter Yee)
Subject: 1992 seen as NASA's most productive year for science discoveries [Release 92-228] (Forwarded)
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Organization: NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1992 05:45:47 GMT
Lines: 1424

David W. Garrett
Headquarters, Washington, D.C.             December 21, 1992
(Phone:  202/358-1600)

RELEASE:  92-228

1992 SEEN AS NASA'S MOST PRODUCTIVE YEAR FOR SCIENCE DISCOVERIES

     It was a blockbuster year for NASA space science missions, with 
scientific discoveries ranging from the beginning of time to black 
holes to the innermost workings of the human cell.

     "Given the unprecedented return on science information and the 
robust launch record, 1992 was the most productive year in the 
history of space science," said Dr. Lennard A. Fisk, Associate 
Administrator for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications in 
Washington, D.C.

     "NASA is leading the way in a worldwide resurgence of space 
sciences and exploration with 31 space science missions in operation 
and returning science.  This year is one for the record books," said 
NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin.

     "Because of the successes of our operational spacecraft and the 
new missions undertaken this year, we can look forward to an 
exciting and increasingly productive future," Goldin said.

     Highlighting 1992 were a number of major science discoveries as 
well as eight successful Space Shuttle missions providing an on-
orbit life sciences and microgravity research facility.

     Environmental research included studies which indicated the 
1992 ozone hole was larger than any previously seen.  International 
cooperation in space missions increased in 1992, and the the ninth 
NASA Administrator, Daniel S. Goldin, was appointed on April 1. 

Secrets Yielded

     The Big Bang -- the primeval explosion that began the universe 
15 billion years ago -- yielded some of its secrets to the Cosmic 
Background Explorer spacecraft in 1992.  The orbiting observatory 
detected temperature variations within the glow from the initial 
expansion of the universe following the Big Bang.

     Astronomers came closer this year to understanding mysterious 
black holes when the Hubble Space Telescope uncovered evidence that 
there might be massive black holes in the core of two galaxies.  The 
orbiting telescope also provided the first direct view of an immense 
ring of dust which may fuel a massive black hole at the heart of 
another galaxy.

     Six scientific spacecraft were launched during 1992 to explore 
the universe, the solar system, the Earth and the Earth-sun 
environment.  Among these was the Mars Observer, America's first 
mission to the Red Planet since Viking 17 years ago.

     Five Spacelab missions aboard the Space Shuttle advanced human 
understanding of how to live and work in space. 

     A number of microgravity experiments tested various methods of 
growing protein and zeolite crystals in space.  The results could 
have major commercial potential and medical applications.

     Space technology research in 1992 stressed new methods that 
robots and humans may eventually use to explore the moon and Mars, 
including "telepresence" technology that lets a person, wearing a 
video headset, see remote locations through cameras mounted on a 
robot.  The technology could be used by future astronauts to control 
robotic explorers on planetary surfaces.

     International cooperation was highlighted by the flight of the 
first Swiss astronaut and the first Italian payload specialist on 
STS-46 and the first Japanese payload specialist flew on the STS-47 
Spacelab mission.

     Also, NASA signed a contract with the Russian firm, NPO 
Energia, focusing on possible use of the Russian Soyuz-TM vehicle as 
an interim Assured Crew Return Vehicle for space station astronauts.

     Dr. Mae C. Jemison became the first African American female 
astronaut to fly in space in September aboard STS-48.

     These subjects and other 1992 NASA activities are covered in 
the following background release.

- end general release -

EDITORS NOTE:  The annual NASA yearender provides a comprehensive 
review of all major space and aeronautics programs.  The entire 1992 
document can be obtained by calling the NASA Headquarters newsroom 
at 202/358-1600.

NASA MANAGEMENT

	Daniel S. Goldin became the ninth Administrator of NASA on 
April 1, appointed by President Bush to succeeded Richard H. Truly.  
Prior to joining the agency, Goldin was Vice President and General 
Manager of the TRW Space & Technology Group which built 13 
spacecraft during his tenure.

	The new Administrator assumed command at a time of shrinking 
financial resources caused by the recession, the deficit reduction 
effort and growing demands in other areas such as education, medical 
care and housing.  

	Forecasts indicted that NASA would not receive appropriations 
sufficient to support outyear development of projects initiated 
prior to the recession, when the outlook for funds was more 
positive.

	Goldin initiated a series of efforts to respond to this 
situation with the goal of preserving essential space exploration 
and aeronautics research programs despite necessary cost reductions, 
while permitting the nation to undertake new projects in both areas. 

	Simultaneously, he launched campaigns to reform the agency's 
procurement process, introduce greater cultural diversity into the 
workforce and contracting, renew the NASA's commitment to quality 
and stimulate public support for the program.

"Cheaper, Faster, Better"

	Constantly urging NASA employees and contractors alike to do 
things "cheaper, faster and better," the Administrator created a 
group of blue and red teams to review major NASA projects and their 
organizational settings.

	The blue teams consisted of persons who would examine their 
own programs for creative ways to reduce cost without compromising 
safety or science.  The red teams were composed of people 
unconnected with programs who might bring fresh insights or insure 
that none were stiffled.

	This review began in May and has led to significant changes in 
a number of major projects, with a 17 percent reduction in costs 
thus far.  The process is intended to be on-going.

	In a closely related effort, Goldin constantly stressed the 
adoption of the approaches and tools of Total Quality Management 
(TQM) which calls for a continuous effort to improve quality, reduce 
cost and speed production.  

	NASA, he declared in a talk to employees, is a "world class" 
organization whose people must meet the most stringent standards for 
excellence measured on a worldwide basis.  They were responsible, he 
said, for increasing efficiency, saving money, improving quality and 
shortening the time to project fruition - all without compromising 
safety. 




A "Shared Vision" of the Future

	Soon after the formation of the blue and red teams, Goldin 
called on NASA employees to submit their ideas for a NASA "shared 
vision of what we, as a nation, should strive to accomplish in 
space."  Closely coupled with this was a series of well-attended 
"town meetings" held in cities throughout the country to give the 
general public the opportunity to state its view about the future of 
the space program.

	Goldin said the ultimate goal of these activities was to 
produce a vision of America's future in space that would be shared 
and support by NASA, Congress, the President and executive branch, 
academia, the space community and the general public.

	In another major effort aimed at insuring quality and 
controlling cost, the Administrator announced a series of 
procurement reforms.  Awards would be made on the basis of well 
demonstrated adherence to quality, cost control and schedule 
maintenance.  Award fees would be determined on the same basis, with 
opportuity for greater gain by staying on schedule and within 
estimates.

	The reforms placed substantial emphasis on opportunity for 
small and disadvantaged businesses, including culturally diverse 
businesses.  The agency said it would step up deadlines for prime 
contractors to meet their quota of awards to subcontractors in this 
category.  Incentive fees would stimulate the effort.  Paperwork, 
which discouraged many small firms, was to be reduced substantially.

	The Administrator also underscored the need for greater 
cultural diversity in the agency's workforce, requiring the head of 
each NASA facility to submit a plan to increase minority hiring.  "I 
am personally and deeply committed to making NASA a model for the 
nation in building a culturally diverse workforce at every level," 
he said in a speech.  He said he wanted NASA to reflect the nation's 
"wonderful mosaic of diverse people," and to signal opportunity to 
young people of all races. 

	In October, Goldin announced a series of structural changes in 
the agency's organization designed to focus greater attention on 
certain projects critical to the nation's future.  Mission to Planet 
Earth to aid the environment would become an individual office, as 
would planetary science and astrophysics, or Mission From Planet 
Earth, to explore the solar system and look beyond into the 
universe. 

Concern About America's Aeronautics Industry

	Aeronautics and space technology development, which were 
combined in a single office, were to be separated.  Goldin stated in 
a speech that the nation's aeronautics industry was loosing ground 
to aggressive foreign competitiors to such a degree that it was in a 
crisis.  He declared that NASA would place substantially greater 
emphasis on aeronautics and that this would be the sole 
responsibility of the Aeronautics Office.

	Technology was joined to the commercial development function 
in a "one-stop shopping" concept to serve both NASA and private 
industry.  The goal is speed the introduction of new technology 
throughout the space program and to enhance the process of spinoff 
to American industry which, in the past, has led to thousands of new 
commercial products and processes.

	Goldin maintained an aggressive schedule of speaking 
throughout the country on a large variety of subjects.  Of 
particular prominence was the effort to explain and win support for 
a return to the moon and exploration of Mars; to win anew 
congressional funding for Space Station Freedom; to explain the 
value of the space program as a national investment to rebuild 
technological leadership and hone a competitive edge, and to 
proclaim the need for far greater international cooperation in space 
to continue the exploration of the universe beyond planet Earth.

	In the latter regard, the Administrator represented the nation 
in signing historic new agreements with the Soviet Union that will 
expand considerably space cooperation between the two nations.  The 
agreements provide for the exchange of astronauts and cosmonauts on 
space flights, study of a Russian vehicle for possible emergency 
crew return from Space Station Freedom, a Shuttle-Mir Space Station 
link-up, and life sciences and robotic exploration activities. 

SPACE SCIENCE

EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE

     NASA's astrophysics program delivered new and important results 
about the fundamental nature of the cosmos in 1992.  Discoveries 
throughout the year increased human understanding of the origin and 
fate of the universe, the laws of physics and the evolution of 
galaxies, stars and planets. 

     Highlights of 1992 discoveries made by the Hubble Space 
Telescope (HST), Compton Observatory, Cosmic Background Explorer 
(COBE), Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer 
(EUVE) are listed below, by astronomical object. 

Planets

   *  Conducting long-term observations of global weather changes on 
Mars (HST).

   *  Measured the extent of the atmosphere of the Jovian moon Io 
and looked for surface changes (HST).

Stellar Evolution

   *  Provided the first clear view of one of the hottest known 
stars (360,000 degrees Fahrenheit), which lies at the center of the 
Butterfly Nebula, NGC 2440 (HST).

Star Clusters

   *  Discovered a cataclysmic variable star in the core of globular 
cluster 47 Tucanae, the first known optical counterpart to an x-ray 
source in a globular cluster (HST).


Stars

   *  Detected several sources of extreme ultraviolet light through 
interstellar gas and dust, including the corona of a star, a white 
dwarf companion star and red dwarf stars (EUVE).

   *  Discovered unexpected "gamma ray afterglow" on the sun.  A 
strong emanation of high-energy gamma rays persisted for more than 5 
hours after a solar flare explosion (Compton).

Pulsars

   *  Solved 20-year old mystery about the power source of Geminga, 
a gamma ray pulsar, which was found to be a 300,000 year-old 
rotating neutron star (ROSAT, Compton).

Galaxies

   *  Uncovered circumstantial evidence for the presence of a 
massive black hole in the core of the neighboring galaxy M32 as well 
as the giant elliptical galaxy M87 (HST).

   *  Provided the first direct view of an immense ring of dust 
which may fuel a massive black hole at the heart of the giant 
elliptical galaxy NGC 4261 and the spiral galaxy M51 (HST).

   *  Detected for the first time high-energy gamma rays from a 
class of active galaxy similar to quasars and possibly powered by a 
black hole (Compton).

   *  Found three new gamma-ray quasars, detected more than 200 
cosmic gamma ray bursts and captured the best ever observation of 
the glow of gamma radiation from the disk of the Milky Way galaxy 
(Compton).

Cosmology

   *  Detected the long-sought variations within the glow from the 
Big Bang -- the primeval explosion that began the universe 15 
billion years ago.  This detection is a major milestone in a 25-year 
search and supports theories explaining how the initial expansion 
happened (COBE).

   *  Determined more accurately the expansion rate of the universe 
by detecting 27 "Cepheid variable" stars in a faint spiral galaxy 
called IC 4182.  Cepheid variables are used to estimate distances to 
galaxies (HST).

EXPLORING THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Mars Observer

     "Launched Sept. 25 aboard a Titan III ELV, "Mars Observer will 
examine Mars much like Earth satellites now map our weather and 
resources," said Dr. Wesley Huntress, Director of NASA's Solar 
System Exploration Division, Washington, D.C.
     "It will give us a vast amount of geological and atmospheric 
information covering a full Martian year.  At last we will know what 
Mars is actually like in all seasons, from the ground up, pole to 
pole," Huntress said.

     On Aug. 24, 1993, the spacecraft will begin orbiting the planet 
Mars.  Mars Observer will provide scientists with an orbital 
platform from which the entire Martian surface and atmosphere will 
be examined and mapped by the seven science instruments on board.  
The measurements will be collected daily from the low- altitude 
polar orbit, over the course of 1 complete Martian year -- the 
equivalent of 687 Earth days.

High Resolution Microwave Survey (HRMS)

     Initiated on Columbus day, 500 years after the explorer landed 
in America, the HRMS project began searching for signals transmitted 
by other civilizations.  The search will be conducted in two modes -
- a sky survey that will sweep the celestial sphere for signals and 
a targeted search that will look at about 800 nearby "sunlike" 
stars.  NASA's Deep Space Network, in Goldstone, Calif., and the 
Aericibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will conduct most of the survey.

Cassini

     A comprehensive examination of the Cassini spacecraft and 
mission, was successfully completed Dec. 11.  Cassini is scheduled 
for launch in Oct. 1997 with an arrival at Saturn in June 2004.  
Cassini will fly by Venus and twice by Earth and Jupiter before 
arriving at Saturn to begin a 4-year orbital tour of the ringed 
planet and its 18 moons.

     In addition to the 12 instruments aboard the orbiter, the 
Huygens probe, built by the European Space Agency, will penetrate 
the thick atmosphere of Titan (the largest of Saturn's moons) in 
Nov. 2004.

Ulysses

     The Ulysses spacecraft received a gravity assist as it flew by 
Jupiter on Feb. 8 at 280,000 miles from the planet's center.  
Ulysses, designed to study the sun's magnetic field and solar wind, 
used Jupiter's gravity assist to gain the momentum needed to break 
out of the plane of the ecliptic and into a solar polar orbit.  
During the hazardous Jupiter fly-by, scientists investigated the 
interaction of the giant planet's magnetic field and the solar wind.

Pioneer Venus

     As expected, after the Pioneer Venus orbiter's maneuvering fuel 
ran out, it made a fiery entry into Venus' upper atmosphere on Oct. 
8.  Pioneer Venus had been orbiting the planet since 1978 and over 
the past 14 years, has returned numerous data about Venus' 
atmosphere and surface topography.

     The first topographic maps of the cloud-shrouded surface of the 
planet were made using the radar instrument on Pioneer Venus.

Magellan

    The Magellan spacecraft, mapping the hidden surface of Venus 
with radar since August 1990, lowered its closest altitude to Venus 
on Sept. 14, when it began a full 243-day cycle of gravity mapping.

     Magellan has completed three cycles of mapping with its radar, 
covering 99 percent of the surface of Venus.  The objective of cycle 
4, which extends to May 15, 1993, is to obtain a global map of the 
Venus gravity field from the elliptical orbit. 

Galileo

     NASA's Galileo spacecraft flew by the Earth on Dec. 8 at an 
altitude of 189 miles (304 kilometers) above the South Atlantic 
Ocean, completing a 3-year gravity-assist trajectory.

     This latest gravity-assist added about 8,300 miles per hour 
(13,300 kilometers per hour) to the spacecraft's speed in its solar 
orbit and changed its direction slightly, to put it on an elliptical 
trajectory directly to the orbit of Jupiter, about 480 million miles 
(780 million kilometers) from the sun.  The spacecraft will arrive 
at Jupiter on Dec. 7, 1995.

     At Jupiter, Galileo will relay data from a probe launched into 
the planet's atmosphere to obtain direct measurements of that 
environment for the first time.  Over a 23-month period, the 
spacecraft will fly ten different elliptical orbits of Jupiter, 
making at least two close passes by each of its four major 
satellites and carrying out extended observations of the planet 
atmosphere and magnetosphere.

UNDERSTANDING THE EARTH - SUN ENVIRONMENT

SAMPEX

     The Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer was 
launched July 2, is the first of a new series of Small Explorer 
missions which will enable scientists to develop less costly 
astronomy and space science experiments in a shorter period of time.

     The spacecraft's peculiar 342-by-419-mile-high elliptical orbit 
will enable the onboard instruments to use the Earth as a giant 
magnetic shield.  By doing this, the 4 instruments can determine if 
particles are coming from the sun, from the Milky Way Galaxy, or 
whether they are the anomalous cosmic rays. 

     SAMPEX is expected to contribute new knowledge and improve 
understanding of the evolution of the sun, solar system and 
galaxies.

Geotail

     Launched July 24, 1992, Geotail is investigating the 
interactions of the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere, 
providing scientists with new information on the flow of energy and 
its transformation in the region called the magnetotail.

     The Geotail mission -- a joint U.S./Japanese project -- is the 
first in a series of satellites in an international program to 
better understand the interaction of the sun, the Earth's magnetic 
field and the Van Allen radiation belts. 

     The solar wind, interacting with the Earth's magnetic field, 
can cause disruptions in short-wave radio communications and power 
surges in long transmission lines.

LIVING AND WORKING IN SPACE
 
     During the past year, several opportunities to work in a 
laboratory in space, perform life and material sciences experiments 
and learn more about how humans adapt to the space environment have 
afforded scientists with vital information that may lead to useful 
commercial and medical applications on Earth.

Microgravity Science

     Three spacelab missions were flown to explore the effects of 
space on protein crystals, electronic materials, fluids, glasses and 
ceramics and metals and alloys.

     Missions flown aboard the Space Shuttle this year include the 
International Microgravity Laboratory, flown in January; United 
States Microgravity Laboratory-1, June, and United States 
Microgravity Platform-1, October.  The September flight of Spacelab-
J, the Japanese Spacelab, also included NASA-sponsored microgravity 
experiments. 

     A total of 45 NASA sponsored microgravity experiments flew on 
these missions.  They were exposed to the microgravity environment 
for an average of approximately 10-days.  These flights represented 
more peer-reviewed, hands-on microgravity research than had been 
conducted by the United States since Skylab in 1974-75.

Life Sciences

     The International Microgravity Laboratory-1 carried 29 life 
sciences experiments and Spacelab-J, the Japanese Spacelab, seven.  
The United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) mission, 
although dedicated to microgravity science, supported a series of 
medical investigations as part of the Extended Duration Orbiter 
Medical Project.
 
     The longest Space Shuttle mission to date, USML-1 proved to be 
an excellent laboratory for these investigations.  Many of the other 
Space Shuttle missions also included life sciences experiments.

     During the winter of 1992, life sciences experiments were 
conducted in the most unearthly place on the planet -- Antarctica.  
NASA and National Science Foundation sponsored several unique 
science and technology projects developed under a joint effort 
called the Antarctic Space Analog Program. 

     NASA also is participating in a cooperative life sciences 
mission with Russia.  Late in December, Russia will launch COSMOS 
'92 "biosatellite," a recoverable, unpiloted spacecraft that carries 
plant and animal experiments.
Flight Systems

     In March, the ATLAS-1 mission used two Spacelab pallets to 
conduct investigations into the sun's energy output, the chemistry 
of the Earth's atmosphere, space plasma physics and astronomy.  A 
core set of six instruments will fly repeatedly to study the 
interaction of the Sun and the Earth's atmosphere.  

     In cooperation with the Office of Aeronautics and Space 
Technology, the division managed NASA's contribution to the national 
High-Speed Computing and Communications program. 

     In October, 29 supercomputing proposals were selected to 
advance substantially how computers can be used to study problems 
ranging from the environment to the evolution of the universe.  
These projects will use "parallel processing" computers, machines 
that use up to thousands of processors to work simultaneously on a 
problem.

     In January, the NASA Science Internet (NSI) helped implement 
the world's first high-speed computer network link to Antarctica, 
providing voice and data links between the continental United States 
and the U.S. base at McMurdo Sound.  In November, NSI staff set up 
the first video link between Antarctica and the United States to 
transmit images between the Ames Research Center and a remotely 
operated vehicle maneuvering under ice-covered lakes.

     In January, the National Space Science Data Center's Data 
Archive and Dissemination System became operational.  User interest 
in these electronically available astrophysics and space physics 
data sets has been high, with recent access rates running at 700 
remote user sessions per month.

UNDERSTANDING THE EARTH

     In its first full year, NASA's Mission to Planet Earth 
encompassed three flight programs, a series of ground-based and 
airborne expeditions and ongoing research and analysis to better 
understand the Earth as a global environmental system.

TOPEX/POSEIDON

     The U.S.-French satellite TOPEX/POSEIDON, launched in August, 
will help define the relationship between the Earth's oceans and 
climate.  By measuring the sea-surface height with unprecedented 
accuracy, TOPEX/POSEIDON will provide scientists with global maps of 
ocean circulation. 

     The oceans transport heat from the Earth's equator toward the 
poles, and TOPEX/POSEIDON data will provide a better understanding 
of how this mechanism works.  TOPEX/POSEIDON is a joint mission 
between NASA and CNES, the French space agency.

LAGEOS II

     A passive satellite, the Italian LAGEOS II is covered with 
reflectors that send laser beams back to the ground stations that 
sent the beams.  Measurements over the years and over wide 
geographic areas show how the techtonic plates that make up the 
Earth's crust are moving.  Since most earthquakes and volcanoes 
occur where these plates meet, LAGEOS II will help geologists 
understand how these cataclysmic events occur and where they are 
likely to happen.

Earth Observing System

     The centerpiece of Mission to Planet Earth, the Earth Observing 
System (EOS) continued to progress to the launch of its first 
satellite in June 1998.  Internal teams reviewed the program with 
the goal of reducing funding requirements through FY 2000 by 
approximately 30 percent while retaining the essence of the 
instrument complement and science plan.

Ozone Research

     Continuing its leading effort in the study of ozone depletion, 
NASA cooperated with NOAA and other organizations to mount the 
second Airborne Arctic Stratospheric Expedition from November 1991 
through March 1992. 

     The campaign discovered record-high levels of chlorine 
monoxide, a key chemical in the ozone depletion cycle, over Eastern 
Canada and New England.  This finding was complemented by data from 
the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), which observed high 
concentrations of chlorine monoxide over Europe and Asia.

     In the Antarctic, the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer, which 
has been observing global ozone levels for 14 years, indicated the 
1992 ozone hole was 15 percent larger in area than any previously 
seen.  Earlier, UARS had observed chemicals involved in ozone 
depletion in the Antarctic atmosphere as early as June, 3 months 
before significant ozone depletion begins.

     NASA's ozone research expanded with the first of a new series 
of Space Shuttle missions in April.  Titled the ATLAS program, these 
missions study the sun's energy output and the atmosphere's chemical 
makeup, and how these factors affect ozone levels.  ATLAS' 
instruments are precisely calibrated before and after flight, 
providing a check on data gathered by similar instruments on free-
flying satellites.

     To distinguish natural global change from human-induced change 
and to understand how humans are changing their environment, Mission 
to Planet Earth provides scientists with data on how the Earth's 
large environmental components - air, water, land and life - 
interact.  Several NASA-sponsored airborne and ground expeditions 
studied these complex relations.





Search and Rescue

     NASA's Earth Science and Application program also was involved 
in a technology test that already has significant down-to-Earth 
dividends.  A hand-held transmitter, used in conjunction with 
Search-and-Rescue equipment flying aboard NASA-developed weather 
satellites, allowed rescuers to locate an Alaska hunter immobilized 
by abdominal cramps on Alaska's largely uninhabited North Slope.

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES

     For the fifth consecutive year, NASA's expendable launch 
vehicles provided 100-percent successful launches.  Five expendable 
vehicles were launched this year.  

     The first was on June 7, when a Delta 2 placed the Extreme 
Ultraviolet Explorer, an astrophysics satellite, into low-Earth 
orbit.  On July 3, a Scout placed SAMPEX, a small-explorer class 
space physics satellite, into low-Earth orbit.  

     A Delta 2 carried the Japanese Geotail satellite into space on 
July 24.  On Sept. 25, a Titan III lifted the Mars Observer into 
Earth orbit where the Transfer Orbit Stage (TOS) ignited, sending 
the spacecraft on to Mars.  This was the maiden flight of the TOS.  
The final launch of the year was on Nov. 21 when a Scout placed a 
Strategic Defense Initiative Office payload into orbit.

OFFICE OF SPACE FLIGHT 

Space Shuttle

     This was a banner year for the Shuttle program as it 
demonstrated its maturity and reliability in the missions flown, a 
reduction in the program's operational costs,  and the addition of 
significant hardware upgrades that improved the overall system.

     In January, the manifest showed eight flights scheduled and at 
year's end, all eight had been flown.  Seven of the eight mission 
launched on the day set at the flight readiness review and the 
eighth was 1 day late.  The Shuttle system flew so trouble free that 
two missions were extended for additional science gathering.  This 
year also saw the longest mission ever flown to date, STS-50, which 
lasted 14 days.

     Highlighting the missions conducted was Endeavour's maiden 
voyage in May on the STS-49 mission.  The crew rescued a wayward 
satellite and in the process, set three new records for space flight 
- 4 spacewalks on a single mission, the longest spacewalk ever 
conducted (8 hours, 29 minutes) and the first 3-person spacewalk 
ever performed.

     Three Shuttle missions, STS-42 in January, STS-50 in June and 
STS-47 in September, carried the pressurized spacelab module.  
Experiments conducted on those flights previewed the activities that 
will be undertaken on Space Station Freedom.  

     The Shuttle system showed its versatility though out the year.  
In March it served as an orbiting observatory for the STS-45/ATLAS 
mission.  The STS-46 mission in July demonstrated new technology in 
space with the Tethered Satellite System payload.  Columbia and the 
STS-52 crew in October showed the orbiter's ability to fly a 
combination mission as they deployed the LAGEOS satellite and then 
conducted microgravity research with the United States Microgravity 
Payload.

     The year also saw the last dedicated Department of Defense 
mission flown by the Shuttle during the STS-53 flight in early 
December.

     Safety remained the Shuttle program's top priority.  Space 
Shuttles Columbia and Discovery completed major structural 
inspections and modifications.  Structural inspections and 
modifications of Space Shuttle Atlantis, including work to allow it 
to dock with the Mir Space Station, began in October.  When Atlantis 
returns to flight status in 1993, all of NASA's orbiters will have 
incorporated modifications to the braking system and drag chutes.

     During the year, a detailed budget review resulted in 
significant cost reductions.  The total reduction achieved for 
fiscal year (FY) 1992 was $368 million or 9 per cent of the FY 1992 
baseline budget.  A budget reduction plan is in place that will 
result in over a billion dollars in cost savings in FY 1996, again, 
as compared to the FY 1992 baseline budget.

     A new class of 19 astronaut candidates was named in March.  
During the year astronauts Vance D. Brand, Bruce E. Melnick, John O. 
Creighton, Kathryn D. Sullivan, David C. Hilmers, James C. Adamson, 
James F. Buchli and Daniel M. Brandenstein left the agency.

OFFICE OF SPACE SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

Space Station Freedom

     Moving ever-closer to the first element launch of Space Station 
Freedom, 1992 was the year of the critical design review (CDR).  
CDRs for each individual work package, leading to a design review 
for the entire human-tended configuration, are on schedule to be 
completed by June 1993.  Completion of the CDR marks the point at 
which the design is 90 percent completed and the contractor is given 
authority to proceed with development of the flight hardware.    

     At the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., prime 
contractor Boeing Defense and Space Group began a series of hardware 
tests demonstrating how space station components will be joined in 
orbit.  Among the tests were "berthing" tests of a full-size 
pressurized module to a node.  Other tests included thermal and 
structural loads simulating conditions the hardware will be exposed 
to in space.

     At the Johnson Space Center, Houston, responsible for major 
space station systems, several milestones were achieved in the Work 
Package 2 program.  Nineteen detailed design reviews examining the 
JSC-managed space station subsystems have been completed with the 
remaining 15 scheduled for completion prior to the April 1993 Work 
Package 2 CDR.

     More than 400 pieces of development hardware now exist and 50 
percent of prime contractor McDonnell Douglas' development test 
program is complete.  Examples include development of the pre-
integrated truss (PIT) segments 1 and 2 used in underwater testing  
at JSC's Weightless Environment Training Facility which allows the 
astronauts to conduct critical assessment of orbital replacement 
unit positioning.  

     Integrated truss assembly segments S1 and S2 vibroacoustic and 
thermal vacuum test articles were built and tested for use in 
assessing structural integrity during launch operations and exposure 
to the space environment.  The propulsion module development unit 
was constructed and tested under similar conditions and the test 
article is currently undergoing cold and hot-flow tests at the White 
Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.  

     The segment-to-segment attach systems development test was 
conducted verifying the connections required to join the individual 
PIT segments on-orbit.  In the Data Management System, DMS kits, an 
integrated set of electronic units functionally equivalent to the 
station's data management system, were delivered to the Johnson 
Space Center and to the Kennedy Space Center.  Releases of DMS 
software were delivered to NASA on or ahead of schedule.

     At the Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, responsible for the 
system that supplies Freedom's electrical power, nearly one-half of 
the critical design reviews for the various components that comprise 
the Photovoltaic Module and the Power Management and Distribution 
System were completed.  Development testing of the solar array 
panels and extensive fault current tests also were successfully 
completed.  

     "More than 24,000 flight solar cells have been delivered (75 
percent of an array) and cell production is proceeding quite well," 
said Lewis's Space Station Freedom Project Manager Ron Thomas.  
Battery testing is underway with this year's accumulation giving 3 
years of cycle testing on some cells.

     In the power management and distribution area, Work Package-4 
engineers have completed the first three phases of system tests in 
the Solar Power Electronics Laboratory at prime contractor 
Rocketdyne's facility in Canoga Park, Calif.  These included steady-
state, transient, stability, battery control and communications 
tests.

     In addition to the manufacturing and testing activities, 
construction began on modifications to Lewis's Power Systems 
Facility.  The modifications are necessary to support the 
integration, checkout and assembly of the flight hardware before it 
is shipped to the launch site at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

     Preparations for on-orbit assembly and maintenance were 
highlighted by several neutral buoyancy tests of the PV module cargo 
element mockup as well as robotic tests on replacement of several 
orbital replacement unit boxes.

     In October, Administrator Goldin announced changes to Space 
Station Freedom management that would "ensure NASA's top talent is 
working on the program."  



     Marty Kress, previously the Assistant Administrator for 
Legislative Affairs, was named Deputy Program Manger for Policy and 
Management.  Tom Campbell was named Chief Financial Officer for 
Freedom.  Campbell had been serving as the NASA Comptroller.

     In December, NASA announced plans to consolidate management of 
the Space Station Freedom program in Reston, Va.  "Reston will 
remain the focal point for the space station program for the 
foreseeable future," said Associate Administrator for Space Systems 
Development Arnold Aldrich.

     The Space Shuttle continued to play a critical role in paving 
the way for space station assembly, utilization and operations in 
1992.  

     Four Space Shuttle missions carried up Spacelab hardware, 
demonstrating human interaction in the conduct of science in space 
and bridging the gap between the first small steps taken in 
microgravity research in space started in Apollo to its full-blown 
maturity on Freedom.  

     A number of space station precursor research facilities were 
flown on STS-50, the first United States Microgravity Laboratory, 
such as a glovebox and a crystal growth furnace.  In addition, space 
station hardware - two foot restraints - were flown for evaluation 
by USML crew members.  

     On STS-49, the maiden flight of Endeavour, astronauts Kathy 
Thornton and Tom Akers performed a space walk to demonstrate 
assembly techniques for Freedom.  The experiment, called Assembly of 
Station by EVA Methods, or ASEM, evaluated such things as 
construction techniques and the ability of astronauts to move large, 
heavy objects around in space.

     The first major conference devoted to describing Freedom's 
capabilities and services to the user community was held in 
Huntsville, Ala., in August.  Administrator Goldin gave the keynote 
address, calling Freedom "NASA's 10th research facility, as well as 
well as a national and international program."  Goldin challenged 
NASA to increase the participation by the user community to 200 to 
300 real researchers at the next conference.

     In Congress, Freedom's future was debated in three separate 
measures over a 13 month period.  In each case, the Congress voted 
to maintain America's commitment to build the space station and 
preserve U.S. leadership in space.  A final conference bill resulted 
in NASA's securing $2.1 billion for space station in Fiscal Year 
1993, $150 million less than the President's request.

ASRM

     In 1992, Congressional direction and budgetary shortfalls were 
driving factors in the restructuring and termination of two other 
major activities.

     Congress determined that the Advanced Solid Rocket Motor (ASRM) 
program should proceed but at a reduced level of funding for FY 
1993.  Consequently, the program was restructured during the year 
resulting in a 22-month delay for the first launch, now scheduled 
for December 1998.  
     During the past year, ASRM facilities design reached 100 
percent and construction of facilities passed the 50 percent mark.  
Construction of case production facilities in Southern Indiana was 
completed;  two of a total of four large ASRM segment transporters 
were delivered to NASA by the German contractor in December.

NLS

     Also in 1992, the Congress voted to terminate the joint 
NASA/Air Force New Launch System (NLS) which was to have been a new 
family of vehicles designed to meet both civil and military launch 
requirements after the turn of the century.   $10 million was 
appropriated to the Air Force for accomplishing the termination;  an 
additional $10 million was appropriated to NASA for continuation of 
development work, begun under NLS, for a new Space Transportation 
Main Engine. 

AERONAUTICS

     In 1992, NASA's aeronautics research took on a higher profile, 
with major advances in high-speed research, subsonic transports, 
high-performance aircraft and the creation of a new, separate Office 
of Aeronautics.

     Early in the year, NASA's Lewis Research Center, General 
Electric Co. and Pratt & Whitney teamed up in a unique government-
industry partnership to develop advanced materials for a next-
generation U.S. supersonic transport.  The 5-year, $88 million 
effort, part of NASA's High-Speed Research Program, focuses on 
composite materials for high-temperature, low-emissions engine 
combustion chambers.

     In July, construction began on a high-flying, lightweight 
unpiloted research aircraft called Perseus that NASA will use to 
measure ozone levels and gather other atmospheric data for the High-
Speed Research Program.  When it begins science missions in 1994, 
Perseus will carry up to 110 pounds (49.5 kilograms) of instruments 
as high as 82,000 feet (25 kilometers).

     The highlight of NASA's subsonic research in 1992 was a 
dramatic series of flights to evaluate airborne windshear sensors 
under actual severe weather conditions.  NASA's Boeing 737 research 
plane, based at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., tested a 
laser radar (lidar) system, an infrared sensor and a microwave radar 
at the Denver and Orlando, Fla. airports.  It was the first flight 
test of the lidar system.

     During the year, NASA and the Army began a 5-year program to 
increase helicopter agility and maneuverability.  The effort at 
NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif., uses a modified 
UH-60A helicopter as a flying laboratory.  The experiments focus on 
computer software that determines how helicopters respond to pilots' 
commands, improved navigation systems and pilot displays.

     A  NASA F-15 based at Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility, 
Edwards, Calif., started supersonic flight tests of a Performance 
Seeking Control system that may make future high-speed aircraft more 
fuel-efficient and reliable.

     In 1992, Dryden also became home to tests with the X-31 
Enhanced Fighter Maneuverability aircraft.  NASA is part of an 
international group flying the X-31 to show the value of coupling 
thrust vectoring (directing engine exhaust flow) with advanced 
flight control systems to increase maneuverability in nose-high 
forward flight.

National Aero-Space Plane (NASP)

     The nation got a preview of tomorrow's space transportation in 
June when a 50-foot mockup of the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) 
rolled out of its hanger at Mississippi State University, 
Starkville, Miss.  Senior engineering students at the school won the 
chance to build the mockup in a nationwide competition sponsored by 
NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD).

      NASP is a joint NASA/DoD effort to develop advanced 
technologies for future vehicles that could take off like an 
airplane, fly into Earth orbit using supersonic combustion ramjets 
(scramjets) and minimal rocket propulsion, then return through the 
atmosphere to land on a runway.

SPACE TECHNOLOGY

     NASA's research on space technology in 1992 stressed new 
methods that robots and humans eventually may use to explore the 
moon and Mars.

     A pair of experiments evaluated telepresence technology that 
lets a person, wearing a video headset, see remote locations through 
cameras mounted on a robot.  The technology could be used by future 
astronauts to control robotic explorers on planetary surfaces.

     Beginning in October, NASA scientists employed telepresence to 
direct the mini-sub during explorations of ice-covered Lake Hoare on 
Antarctica's Ross Island.  A 5-person research team studied the 
physical and biological nature of the lake to obtain clues about 
organism that may once have lived on Mars.

     In June, NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 
unveiled Rocky IV, the latest in a series of planetary mini-rovers.  
Rocky IV is a prototype of a robot that may go to Mars in 1996 as 
part of the Mars Environmental Survey (MESUR) mission.  The 16.5-
pound (7.4-kilogram) testbed is helping NASA researchers learn how 
to integrate planetary landers and their science instruments under 
Mars-like conditions.

     Around the same time, NASA-Langley engineers assembled a large-
scale parabolic (double-curve) antenna in a huge water tank at 
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.  The tank's 
buoyancy simulated the microgravity environment that astronauts must 
work in while putting together large objects in space.  The tests 
helped to establish assembly times and work procedures for antennas 
that are too large to fit inside a space vehicle in one piece.

     In October, NASA chose 29 supercomputing research proposals 
that will pave the way for revolutionary advances in Earth and space 
science. The projects will try to achieve computer capabilities far 
beyond those of today's machines, allowing scientists to produce 
realistic computer models of phenomena such as the interactions of 
Earth's oceans, air and land masses and the evolution of the 
universe.

     In October, NASA Administrator Goldin announced that the 
agency's space technology work would be combined with commercial 
space activities in a new Office of Advanced Concepts and 
Technology.

ADVANCED CONCEPTS AND TECHNOLOGY
 
     The new Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology (OACT) was 
established to improve the way in which NASA approaches the 
development and transfer of advanced technology, as well as the 
commercialization of space and space technologies.

     An interim organizational structure was established and an 
Organizational Process Action Team was formed to develop an 
integrated plan for combining the two offices.  The team -- 
comprising personnel from the two offices, as well as other NASA 
program offices and field installations -- will present its initial 
recommendations to the NASA Administrator sometime this month.

Commercial Flight Activities

     Throughout 1992, OCP sponsored more than 20 commercial payloads 
aboard the Space Shuttle.  In June, OCP participated in the flight 
of the U.S. Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) -- aboard STS-50 -- 
with the Office of Space Science and Applications.  Five commercial 
payloads, consisting of more than 30 investigations in materials, 
fluids and biological processes, were flown on the record-breaking, 
2-week mission.

        One USML-1 payload specialist was Dr. Lawrence J. DeLucas, 
the first scientist from a NASA Center for the Commercial 
Development of Space (CCDS) to fly aboard the Space Shuttle.  
Successful results obtained from protein crystal growth experiments 
conducted during the mission are directly attributable to the 
involvement of DeLucas.

        Forty percent of the proteins flown on the mission produced 
larger and higher quality crystals than their groundbased 
counterparts, compared to 20 percent on previous flights.  Other 
commercial investigations on USML-1 provided promising results, 
including the growth of zeolite crystals; a 98 percent success rate 
in the flight hardware used to process more than 20 separate 
biomaterials, biotechnology and life sciences experiments; and 
successful demonstration of a safe and reliable way of providing 
water and nutrients to plants for indefinite periods of time in a 
microgravity environment -- an international first.

        In October, four commercial payloads, comprising more than 
30 investigations, were flown aboard STS-52 to evaluate a compound 
being developed to treat osteoporosis; to further study protein 
crystal growth for drug research and development; to test a furnace 
to learn more about growing larger and more uniform industrial 
crystals; and to learn more about how microgravity can aid research 
in 

drug development and delivery, basic cell biology, protein and 
inorganic crystal growth, bone and invertebrate development, immune 
deficiencies, manufacturing processes and fluid sciences.

        Other commercial experiments were flown aboard the Space 
Shuttle during 1992 to study the influence of microgravity on the 
processing of gelled sols; to investigate the physical and chemical 
processes that occur during the formation of polymer membranes in 
microgravity; to further investigate and develop the bases for 
materials processing in space; to study the effects of the low-Earth 
orbit environment on space structure materials; and to assess the 
utility of an Electronic Still Camera.

Technology Transfer
 
     1992 marked the 30th anniversary of NASA's Technology Transfer 
Program, established under congressional mandate to promote the 
transfer of aerospace technology to other sectors of the U.S. 
economy.
 
     In January, NASA, as part of a major initiative to upgrade its 
technology transfer program, established six Regional Technology 
Transfer Centers (RTTC) to directly serve the commercial sector 
through the transfer and commercial use of NASA and other federal 
technologies.  The RTTCs, closely aligned with state-level programs, 
operate as industry-driven catalysts for federal technology transfer 
throughout their regions.  
 
     Also in 1992, the National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) -- 
sponsored by NASA in cooperation with other federal agencies -- 
initiated operations in conjunction with the RTTCs and other 
technology transfer programs.  The RTTCs and NTTC, along with 
affiliated federal and state programs, now form the basis of the 
innovative National Technology Transfer Network.
 
     In February, the National Technology Initiative (NTI) was 
launched by NASA and the Departments of Commerce, Energy and 
Transportation to spur U.S. economic competitiveness by promoting a 
better understanding of the opportunities for industry to 
commercialize new technology advances.  The NTI consisted of a 
series of regional meetings to highlight the federal government's 
investment in advanced technologies, much of which has commercial 
potential.

     In May, a pair of computer-driven glasses that can help 
millions of Americans afflicted with certain low vision problems was 
introduced.  The Low Vision Enhancement Project is derived from NASA 
technology and is a product of NASA's Technology Transfer Program in 
cooperation with the NASA Stennis Space Center, Miss., and the Johns 
Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Md.

     The third national technology transfer conference and 
exposition, TECHNOLOGY 2002, took place Dec. 1-3, at the Baltimore 
Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.  Sponsored by NASA, "NASA Tech 
Briefs" magazine and the Technology Utilization Foundation, the 
conference featured exhibits from NASA's nine field centers, other 
government agencies, universities, government research centers and a 
diverse array of high-tech companies.
 
Communications and Remote Sensing
 
     In July, NASA selected 30 experiments proposed for inclusion in 
the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) program.  
The experiments represent the work of an impressive cross section of 
industry and academic investigators.  Ten experiments also were 
selected to conduct propagation research at Ka-band.
 
     During the year, the ACTS Experiments Program signed memoranda 
of understanding with three agencies:  
 
   *  The National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration/Institute for Telecommunication Sciences will test 
and evaluate the ACTS unique capabilities and technology to gain 
knowledge of advanced communication satellite system performance.
 
   *  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing a 
high data rate satellite research testbed network.
 
   *  The U.S. Army Space Command will use the ACTS to conduct 
demonstrations of technology and applications which involve 
interoperation between ACTS and the Army communications facilities.

Small Business Innovation Research

     From December through March 1992, the Small Business Innovation 
Research (SBIR) Division selected 138 research proposals for 
negotiation of Phase II contract awards in NASA's SBIR program.  
Included were 126 small, high technology firms located in 28 states.
 
     The selection of 348 research proposals for negotiation of 
Phase I contracts in the 1992 SBIR program was announced in 
November.  Proposals selected were submitted by 256 small, high 
technology firms in 34 states.
 
EXPLORATION

     Early in the year the Office of Exploration conducted a 
workshop with the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston to define 
the scientific requirements for the first lunar orbital precursor 
missions.  Instruments to fly on these missions were selected based 
on recommendations and input from the workshop.

     In addition, Exploration program officials conducted an in-
depth technical study of a First Lunar Outpost concept intended to 
be the baseline architecture to return humans to the Moon.  The 
program currently is evaluating trade-offs and options for this 
baseline, which is expected to evolve and be modified before it is 
flown.

     The Office of Exploration also initiated conceptual studies of 
possible mission scenarios for human exploration of Mars.




INTERNATIONAL

     The year 1992 was probably the most active international space 
cooperation in NASA's history.  Highlights included increased 
cooperation with the Russian Space Agency; the launch of 
international spacecraft/payloads; flight of foreign payload 
specialists and an ESA mission specialist on the Space Shuttle and 
the culmination of the Space Agency Forum on International Space 
Year activities.

     Other highlights of 1992 include:

   *  Scientists from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the 
Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the French National Center for Space 
Studies (CNES), the German Space Agency (DARA) and the National 
Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) cooperated in the 
International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-l) Space Shuttle STS-42 
mission launched on Jan. 22.  More than 200 scientists from 16 
countries participated in the investigations.  Dr. Robert Bondar, 
M.D. and Ph.D., of the CSA, and Dr. Ulf Merbold of ESA flew as 
payload specialists.

   *  The first Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science 
(Atlas-l), carried 12 instruments and investigations from the United 
States, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands and 
Japan.  These instruments and investigations studied the chemistry 
of Earth's atmosphere, solar radiation, space plasma physics and 
ultraviolet astronomy on board the March STS-45 Space Shuttle 
mission.  Dr. Dirk Frimout, an ESA scientist, flew as the first 
Belgian payload specialist.

   *  President George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin 
signed a U.S./Russian space agreement in June which expanded 
bilateral cooperation in space science, space exploration, space 
applications and the use of space technology.

   *  In July, NASA signed a contract with the Russian firm NPO 
Energia, focusing on possible use of the Russian Soyuz-TM vehicle as 
an interim Assured Crew Return Vehicle.

   *  Geotail, a Japanese built-spacecraft, was launched from the 
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on a Delta II expendable 
launch vehicle on July 24, 1992.  This joint U.S./Japanese project 
is the first in a series of five satellites with significant 
participation from NASA, ESA and Japan to better understand the 
interaction of the sun, the Earth's magnetic field and the Van Allen 
radiation belts.  Geotail was developed by the Japanese Institute 
for Space and Astronautical Science, in Sagamihara, Japan.

   *  The Topex/Poseidon satellite was successfully launched on an 
Ariane IV launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, 
French Guiana on August 10.  Topex/Poseidon is a joint NASA/CNES 
program to study ocean circulation and its role in regulating global 
climate. 

   *  The July/August STS-46 Space Shuttle mission included the 
flight of the NASA-Italian Space Agency (ASI) Tethered Satellite 
System and deployment of the European Retrievable Carrier platform.  
Dr. Claude Nicollier, ESA mission specialist and first Swiss 
astronaut, and Dr. Franco Malerba, ASI payload specialist and the 
first Italian payload specialist, were members of the crew. 

   *  During the last meeting of the Space Agency Forum on 
International Space Year (SAFISY) in Washington, D.C., in late 
August, the participants decided to create a Space Agency Forum as a 
follow-on to SAFISY.  A planning group, including the United States, 
Japan, Europe, Russia, Canada, Brazil and China, has been formed to 
work out details for the operation of the proposed new  
organization, which will hold its first meeting in 1993.

   *  The 50th Space Shuttle (STS-47) mission launched in September 
was a joint U.S./Japanese Spacelab mission:  34 Japanese 
experiments, collectively called Fuwatto '92, were flown on a 
reimbursable basis and shared the Spacelab module with 7 from the 
United States and 2 joint experiments.  Dr. Mamoru Mohri flew as the 
first Japanese payload specialist aboard the Shuttle.

   *  In October, NASA and the Russian Space Agency signed an 
agreement for the flight of a Russian cosmonaut on the U.S. Space 
Shuttle, the flight of a U.S. astronaut on the Russian Mir Space 
Station and a joint mission including the rendezvous and docking of 
the Space Shuttle with the Mir Space Station.  Another agreement 
also was signed in October for the flight of two U.S./NASA 
scientific instruments on the Russian Mars '94 mission.

   *  The STS-52 mission in October included the ASI's Laser 
Geodynamics Satellite (LAGEOS) II launched on an Italian IRIS upper 
stage, CSA's CANEX-2 payload and the CNES/French Atomic Energy 
Commission's Mephisto instrument on the U.S. Microgravity Payload.  
Steve MacLean flew as a payload specialist and the third Canadian 
citizen to fly aboard the Space Shuttle.

OFFICE OF SPACE COMMUNICATIONS 

Space Network

     The on-orbit Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) 
provided continuous communications coverage to NASA Space Network 
customers for up to 85 percent of each orbit, performing at a 
proficiency in excess of 99.8 percent.  A 33 percent increase in 
Space Shuttle flights, the addition of the Extreme Ultraviolet 
Explorer (EUVE) and Ocean Topography Experiment satellites, and 
continued heavy support for the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and 
Hubble Space Telescope  contributed to the TDRSS's added workload.

     In addition, commercial use of the TDRSS C-band resources 
started, via a lease of those capabilities, to a small business 
private sector firm.

     Since becomming operational in late 1983, TDRSS has relayed 
approximately 3.5 million minutes of data to the ground, and its 
resources have been required by every subsequent Space Shuttle 
mission.

     The TDRSS Continuation Program moved closer to the completion 
of the ground terminal modifications required to maintain Space 
Network user services and meet the evolving needs for satellite 
tracking and communications through the first decade of the 21st 
Century.  Construction of the Second TDRSS Ground Terminal at the 
White Sands Complex, N.M., was completed and hardware/software 
integration testing is underway.

Ground Data Systems

     The data processing program received and processed over 8 
trillion bits of scientific data containing space acquired images 
and measurements from both free-flyer low Earth-orbiting spacecraft 
and Shuttle payloads.  The captured data was converted to forms the 
science community could interpret and distributed to world-wide 
science facilities.  With the advent of EUVE and SAMPEX data, a new 
all-time record of 1 trillion bits of data a month was processed.

OFFICE OF SAFETY AND MISSION QUALITY

     Frederick D. Gregory, NASA Astronaut and Colonel, USAF, was 
named to the position of Associate Administrator.  Gregory is 
responsible for the safety and mission quality for all NASA programs 
and activities and for the direction of reporting and documentation 
of problem identification, problem resolution and trend analysis.

     The Office of Safety and Mission Quality (SMQ) made significant 
contributions to the successful operation of this year's Space 
Shuttle and expendable launch vehicle missions.  SMQ provided 
independent safety oversight, technical assessments, safety 
assurance engineering, policy development, risk assessment and 
mishap investigations. 

     A NASA Mechanical Parts Control Program Implementation Plan was 
initiated to assure the integrity of NASA spaceflight hardware 
components critical to protect human lives and programs.  The 
program is based on the Total Quality Management concept and 
stresses continual improvement of mechanical parts.  The program 
will increase the reliability and quality of NASA hardware, thereby 
providing assurance necessary to launch crews and vehicles on more 
lengthy and complex missions.

     A Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance Working Group was 
established to assure that both NASA's and the USSR's space plans 
for joint missions and operations will meet all safety, reliability 
and quality assurance needs.  Also, the group is working to get a 
better understanding of Russian Space programs safety issues, 
particularly when applied to crewed flights for joint missions.  The 
Working Group participants include representatives from NASA 
Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; Johnson Space Center, Houston; 
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Marshall Space Flight Center, 
Huntsville, Ala.; and Rockwell International Corp., Calif.

     Over 2500 safety professionals, program personnel, and managers 
throughout NASA were trained at the newly implemented NASA Safety 
Training Center. 

     Established at the Johnson Space Center, training is conducted 
via satellite or by center visits, with areas of training including 
Safety Requirements, Payload Safety, Manager Safety, and 
Occupational Safety and Heath Administration issues.

EDUCATION

     During the International Space Year (ISY) kick-off celebration, 
NASA and the Young Astronaut Council announced an ISY student space 
art contest, called Outer Sight.   Over 1,800 school children in 
grades K through 9 entered the competition to capture ISY's spirit 
of world-wide celebration of space cooperation and discovery by 
expressing their vision of future space exploration and discovery. 

     July 22 marked a major milestone for aerospace education by 
expanding the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program to 
include all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  
The addition of Kentucky, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Vermont and 
Wyoming, along with their 26 colleges and universities, brings the 
total number of participating institutions to more than 320 
nationwide.

     The first student managed and built payload flown on a NASA 
sounding rocket was launched successfully on Sept. 21, from the NASA 
Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops 
Island, Va.  The pilot project, known as the Colorado Student Ozone 
Atmospheric Rocket was developed to demonstrate the use of sounding 
rocket flight as a valuable educational tool for undergraduate and 
graduate students.

     Coinciding with the historic first flight of an African 
American female astronaut, Dr. Mae C. Jemison, in September, NASA 
Administrator Goldin, Congressman Louis Stokes (D-OH), and NAACP 
Chairman Dr. William Gibson participated in a symposium to expand 
education and career opportunities for minorities in science, 
engineering and technology.  Over 100 representatives of 
organizations dedicated to expanding education and career 
opportunities for underrepresented groups in science, engineering 
and technology attended.  

     During STS-52, the Earth-orbiting crew of Space Shuttle 
Columbia talked with the sea-voyaging crew of the historic Hawaiian 
canoe Hokule'a on Oct. 28.  At the same time, students throughout 
Hawaii, plotting the course of the canoe's historic voyage, watched 
the televised conversation.  Selected students asked both crews 
about flight and sail plans, weather, procedures for navigating both 
vessels and about exploration.

     Tens of thousands of students in more than 20 nations 
interacted with scientists, engineers and astronauts to learn about 
activities in space exploration and Mission to Planet Earth through 
a series of satellite video conferences.  To observe International 
Space Year, NASA conducted the first of two live, interactive 
satellite videoconferences.  The first broadcast on Oct. 21 featured 
"Space Exploration."

FY 1993 NASA APPROPRIATIONS

     Under the constraints facing all domestic discretionary 
programs in 1992, congressional action on NASA's FY 1993 budget 
request produced a budget for the civil space program lower than FY 
1992, marking the first decrease in NASA appropriations (not 
counting inflation) since 1974.  However, given earlier indications 
that congressional budget cuts in NASA programs would be much 
deeper, possibly including the deletion of funding for Space Station 
Freedom, the final congressional outcome for FY 1993 was 
significantly better than expected.

     The FY 1993 VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill 
cleared Congress on September 25 and was signed by President Bush on 
October 5.  NASA's funding was set at $14.330  billion, $663 million 
less than the President's FY 93 request, and a $4 million decrease 
from FY 92.

     Among the most significant issues was the proposed cancellation 
of the Advanced Solid Rocket Motor (ASRM) program due to budgetary 
constraints.  In the final appropriations bill, however, Congress 
restored funding for ASRM, $195 million in the Space Flight, Control 
And Data Communications appropriation and $165 in the Construction 
Of Facilities appropriation.

     Funding for Space Science and Applications in FY 93 is $130 
million less than the request, but $127 million above the FY 92 
level.  Included was funding for the major science projects, 
including the Earth Observing System, the Advanced X-ray 
Astrophysics Facility, the Cassini mission and the Shuttle Test of 
Relativity Experiment/Gravity Probe B.  The Comet Rendezvous 
Asteroid Flyby mission was canceled.

     The Space Station Freedom program was extensively debated again 
this year in both houses of Congress.  In the House, floor 
challenges to the space station were rejected during both the 
authorization and appropriations debates.  In the Senate, an 
amendment seeking to strike all funding for the space station was 
defeated.  Funding in the amount of $2.1 billion was appropriated, 
$150 million less than the request.

     Twenty-five million dollars was added to the Research and 
Development appropriation for the High Speed Civil Transport 
program.  The joint NASA/DoD National Aero-Space Plane program 
received no funding in the NASA budget for FY 93.  However, funding 
was included in the DoD appropriation for continued development.

     The joint NASA/DoD New Launch System program was terminated, 
although funding in the amount of $10 million was appropriated for 
continued work on new engine development.

     Space Shuttle Operations was reduced by $175 million to $2.9 
billion to support a planned flight rate of eight Shuttle missions 
during the fiscal year.

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