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TRULY ORDERS SWEEPING OVERHAUL OF NASA, SPACE STATION NEWS REPORTS

TRULY ORDERS SWEEPING OVERHAUL OF NASA, SPACE STATION NEWS REPORTS
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA Administrator Richard Truly has ordered a sweeping overhaul of the nation's space agency including a major consolidation of development and operational programs and a sharpening of NASA field center roles and responsibilities, according to the upcoming Jan. 9 issue of Space Station News.
 In a Dec. 30 memorandum to senior NASA managers obtained by Space Station News, the NASA chief approved many of the recommendations made late last year by then outgoing NASA Deputy Administrator J.R. Thompson, including ordering agency managers to undertake a major consolidation of operational and hardware development programs, as well as planning activities. Truly has also called for a subsequent consolidation of field center roles and responsibilities as was recommended by a White House task-force in late 1990.
 Decisions approved by Truly in the 15-page memorandum touch upon nearly all facets of the agency's work and impact nearly all major NASA field centers, including NASA headquarters in Washington.
 The agency has been moving toward many of the decisions outlined by Truly, including a reorganization of the Space Shuttle program, for weeks now, but the senior U.S. space official's decree implements many of the decisions faster than previously anticipated. It also includes some unexpected and more controversial recommendations and includes more detail than was widely expected.
 Among key decisions made by Truly is a stipulation that seven major programs, including the Space Shuttle and Space Station efforts, be reorganized to include a controversial "lead center" program management concept which was cited by groups such as the Rogers' Commission as having contributed to factors surrounding the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.
 In addition to the Space Station and the Space Shuttle programs, Truly named four other programs and efforts which will now be led by lead centers. They are: The National Launch System -- Marshall Space Flight Center; Planetary Science -- the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; the Space Exploration Initiative -- Johnson Space Center; the National Aerospace Plane -- Langley Research Center.
 Another major thrust of Truly's recent decisions is a more sharpened focus on technology and science at NASA's field centers through creation of "NASA Centers of Excellence." The change has been called for by a number of outside task-forces on civil space matters. However, as outlined in the Truly memo, the move required a host of potentially controversial decisions to shift a number of projects and responsibilities among NASA's various field centers located across the United States.
 -0- 1/8/92
 /CONTACT: Susan E. Walker of Space Station News, 703-820-2764, or Ed Hazelwood for Space Station News, 703-522-8333/ CO: Space Station News ST: Virginia IN: ARO SU:


SB-MK -- DC007 -- 7742 01/08/92 11:31 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1992
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