‘“L, United States General Acchunting Office \ Report to the Chairman, Committee on Science, Space and Technology, House of Representatives November 1990 SPACEOPERATIONS NASA Is Not Archiving All Potentially Valuable Data GAO/IMTEC-91-3 Information Management and Technology Division B-240427 November 2,199O The Honorable Robert A. Roe Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology House of Representatives Dear Mr. Chairman: On March 2, 1990, we reported on how well the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) managed, stored, and archived space science data from past missions. This present report, as agreed with your office, discusses other data management issues, including (1) whether NASA is archiving its most valuable data, and (2) the extent to which a mechanism exists for obtaining input from the scientific community on what types of space science data should be archived. As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution until 30 days from the date of this letter. We will then give copies to appropriate congressional committees, the Administrator of NASA, and other interested parties upon request. This work was performed under the direction of Samuel W. Howlin, Director for Defense and Security Information Systems, who can be reached at (202) 275-4649. Other major contributors are listed in appendix IX. Sincerely yours, Ralph V. Carlone Assistant Comptroller General Executive Summary The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is respon- Purpose sible for space exploration and for managing, archiving, and dissemi- nating space science data. Since 1958, NASA has spent billions on its space science programs and successfully launched over 260 scientific missions. Through these efforts it has collected massive volumes of data for immediate and long-term scientific use stored on over 1.2 million reels of magnetic tape. During the next 5 years NASA plans to launch over 30 new missions, and expects that by the late 1990s the annual volume of its space science data will increase five thousandfold. Given the nation’s investment in space missions, and the need to pre- serve and safeguard the irreplaceable information they produce, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology asked GAO to deter- mine if NASA (1) was archiving all of its valuable space science data, and (2) had a mechanism in place to allow scientists to provide input on what data should be archived. Space missions generate massive volumes ok data. NASA’S 1978 policy Background governing the management of space science data specifies the types of data to be archived. The policy requires missions to archive only data that has been analyzed by principal investigators. The end result of that analysis-archival data-is usually altered and may account for only a small portion of all the data collected. Typically, after analyzed data are archived, tapes containing original and more complete versions of data are erased and reused. Scientists play a key role in space science research. Scientists that are closely affiliated with specific missions often define mission objectives, analyze spacecraft data, and disseminate the results of their work to the world. Even outside scientists, who are not directly affiliated with spe- cific missions, use spacecraft data-sometimes for research never antic- ipated when the data were originally collected. Depending on their roles, involvement in the planning, development, and operation of computer systems processing mission data gives affiliated and outside scientists a voice in deciding what mission data should be archived. is not archiving all potentially valuable space science data. It does Results in Brief NASA not archive original data from past missions that may be needed for future research. Further, NASA'S archives are largely incomplete for many important missions and contain no data for others. Valuable data are missing because (1) NASA'S 1978 policy does not require original or Page 2 GAO~1-9 NASA’r Archhem Are Mhing Valuable Data Executive Summary certain research and scientific data to be archived, and (2) missions did not prepare requisite plans for data management, archiving, and disposition. NASA’S existing network of committees, advisory panels, and working groups gives scientists an opportunity to provide input on the planning, development, and operation of mission data processing systems. How- ever, affiliated scientists have expressed longstanding concerns that they must be more involved in the actual development and operation of the systems because recommendations they make are often not imple- mented. Participation of outside scientists is important because they may have different perspectives on the value of data NASA plans to archive. Although NASA policy encourages their participation, it is not required and seldom done. NASA said it was taking steps to expand the role of outside scientists in the management and archiving of space sci- ence data. Principal Findings Data From SomeImportant Data from past NASA missions now reside on over 1 million magnetic tapes, yet NASA’s existing data archives are incomplete for many impor- Missions Not Archived tant missions and contain no data for others. For 23 out of 37 important scientific missions, less than 60 percent of the required data was archived. And of 263 major science missions NASA launched between 1968-1987, 18 had not sent any data to the archival facility. NASA offi- cials attributed the archival shortfalls to many factors, including a lack of (1) formal agreements between NASA and the principal investigators as to what data to archive, and (2) requirements for archiving of data from certain classes of missions. Policy Permits the &I&Y’s 1978 data management policy does not require (1) original data to be archived and made available for new research initiatives, or (2) Destruction of Valuable n-L_ ual;a any data to be archived from such sources and disciplines as bioscience, microgravity, aircraft, balloon, sounding rocket missions, and NASA instruments flown on foreign spacecraft or the Shuttle. Many space scientists and NASA advisory groups believe NASA should permanently archive selected original data so that future investigators might have access to original, unmodified data suitable for future processing and analysis. Some scientists feel that where possible, all original data Page 3 GAO/fMTEGBlS NASA’s Archhm An Mbdng Valuable Data Executive Summmy should be saved as a first priority. Although scientists recognize that such a changed policy may require the storage of data in a more volumi- nous state, they think future scientists must have access to the original, unmodified data for further research and analysis. NASA agrees that its policy needs more flexibility and plans to revise it during 1990. Mission Archiv ,ing Plans Until recently, NASA had not enforced its own policy that requires mis- sions to prepare project data management plans which address essential Not Prepared aspects of mission data management and archiving. Between May 1978 and October 1985, only one mission prepared the required plan. As a result, these missions have not formally described or identified data that should be archived or marked for destruction. Scientists’ Involvement in NASA'S Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee, manage- ment operations working groups, and mission-level data management a Key Data Management and science teams provide a framework thrdugh which NASA seeks input Area Is Ineffective from scientists during various mission phases. Mission-level teams often have provisions to involve affiliated and outside scientists in a key data management activity-the planning, development, and operation of mis- sion data processing systems. Although affiliated scientists have been increasingly involved in planning these systems, they still express con- cern about their limited involvement in the actual development and operation of these systems. As a result, they believe mission data processing systems often do not perform as expected. NASA'S efforts to involve outside scientists in data archiving decisions could be strength- ened by more actively enlisting outside scientists as members of mission- level advisory committees that guide the development and operation of mission data processing systems, as well as recommend specific data that should be archived for future research. Although NASAis taking several steps to improve its management of Recommendations space science data, GAO is making a series of recommendations to the Administrator of NASAto ensure the preservation of all valuable space science data from past and future missions. They include recommenda- tions that NASA (1) take appropriate action to ensure that any valuable missing data from past missions is archived, (2) revise data management policy to ensure that all valuable data are archived, and (3) identify areas where the participation of scientists in data management and archiving activities should be strengthened. Details on these and other recommendations are in chapter 4. Page 4 GAO/fMTEC@1-8 NASA’r Archives Are Misdng Valuable Dam Executive Snmmuy In commenting on a draft of this report, NASAsaid that it presents a Agency Comments useful assessment of some key issues in science data management. Fur- ther, NASA noted that it shares many of the concerns identified by GAO, and said it has programs underway or plans to address them. NASA'S comments and GAO'S evaluation are included in appendix IX. Page 6 Contents Executive Summary 2 Chapter 1 8 Introduction Background 8 Space Missions as Complex Information Systems 9 Missions Generate Several Types of Data 10 Original Data May Hold Key to Future Research 10 Chapter 2 12 NASA Is Not No Data Were Archived From Some Important Missions 12 Policy Permits the Destruction of Valuable Data 16 Preserving All Required Mission Data Management Plans Were Not 17 Valuable Space Prepared ScienceData Better Management Safeguards Needed to Prevent 18 Premature Destruction of Original Data * Chapter 3 20 Scientists’ Scientists Participate in Data Management Activities Scientists Believe Their Participation in a Key Data 20 22 Participation in Data Management Area Is Ineffective Management Chapter 4 24 Conclusions and Recommendations Agency Comments 26 26 Recommendations Appendixes Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology 28 Appendix II: Scientists’ Involvement 29 Appendix III: Typical Data Plow From Past Earth- 30 Orbiting or Deep Space Missions Appendix IV: Holdings From Major Missions Archived by 32 the NSSDC Appendix V: NASA Missions With No Data Archived by 39 the NSSDC Appendix VI: Location and Status of Data for Currently 41 Important Missions Appendix VII: NASA Missions Without Project Data 43 Management Plans, 1978-86 Page 6 Content8 Appendix VIII: Status of Project Data Management Plans 44 for Active and Planned Missions, 1988-91 Appendix IX: Comments From the National Aeronautics 45 and Space Administration Appendix X: Major Contributors to This Report .51 Tables Table 2.1: Status of Archival Data for Currently 14 Important Missions Table V.l: Missions Without Any Data 39 Table V.2: Missions Without Digital Data 40 Abbreviations CODMAC Committee on Data Management and Computation GAO General Accounting Office Information Management and Technology Division ISSPP Information Systems Strategic Planning Project JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory NARA National Archives and Records Administration NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NSSDC National Space Science Data Center Office of Space Science and Applications PDMP Project Data Management Plan Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee l-SF Tape Staging and Storage Facility wm7 tXCyJMlW414 NABA’r Archives Are Misdng Valuable Data Chapter 1 Introduction KASAhas spent over $24 billion on space exploration and research during the last three decades. It has launched over 260 major space sci- ence missions and acquired massive volumes of data that are stored on more than 1.2 million magnetic tapes, as well as hundreds of thousands of charts, reports, microfilms, negatives, and photographs. Its spectac- ular successes in many aspects of space exploration have provided scientists with data that have greatly expanded our understanding of the universe, the solar system, and Earth. KM’S Office of Space Science and Applications (0s~~) is responsible for Background space exploration and for the overall management, archiving, and dis- semination of these data. Individual missions are managed by program managers within CHA’S six science divisions’ and by mission manage- ment teams located at the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) located in Pasadena, Cali- fornia, and other NASA field centers. Responsibility for agency-wide planning, oversight, and coordination of space science data management lies within WSA’SCommunications and Information Systems division. Goddard’s National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) serves as NASA’S principal data archival and dissemination facility. In addition, NASA is archiving, or plans to archive, space science data in several discipline data systems2 and university-based data analysis and archival facilities such as the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the Planetary Data Systems and the NASA Ocean Data System at JPL, and the Pilot Land Data System and the NASA Climate Data System at Goddard. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for periodic reviews of NASA’S and other federal agencies’ management, archiving, and disposal of data. NARA is also responsible for reviewing and approving NASA’S records disposition regulations governing the dis- posal and retention of space science data. ‘Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Applications, Solar System Exploration, Microgravity Science and Applications, Space Physics, and Astrophysics. *Designed to support multiple missions in planetary, space plasma, ocean, land, and climate sciences, these systems archive selected mission data, provide investigators with on-line access to the archived data, and, in some instances, distribute data of high interest on optical disks. Page 8 ~~0-13 NASA’r Archlvea Are Missing Valuable Data chapter 1 Ina-oduction Scientists Play an Space exploration and research is a cos-,ly, complex, and often lengthy process requiring close cooperation of hundreds of highly skilled space- Important Role in Space craft and mission planners, designers, engineers, communications spe- ScienceResearch cialists, and scientists. Successful space exploration is driven, to a large extent, by scientists who define the mission’s scientific focus, analyze the acquired data, and disseminate their findings. In general, scientists who are closely affiliated with NASA missions often serve as principal investigators or co-investigators.3 Secondary users of space science data, outside scientists who are not closely affiliated with NASA missions, represent the scientific community at large and substantially contribute to the nation’s space exploration and research. Often having served as principal investigators on past missions, they can competently advise NASA on data management and archiving. The primary objective of NASA space exploration missions is to advance SpaceMissions as scientific knowledge through data analysis. The first steps in this pro- Complex Information cess are (1) acquiring, (2) processing, and (3) distributing space science Systems data throughout the scientific community. Thus, all major missions include complex information systems consisting of many spaceborne and ground subsystems supported by engineers, data processing specialists, and scientists. These systems may generate and process large volumes and many types of data for periods up to 10 years or more. Given the complexity and volume of data, major missions demand the application of sophisticated inventory, cataloguing, tracking, and data disposition policies and procedures. Future Missions Pose Future missions will dramatically increase the volume of data that will have to be processed, analyzed, and archived. Between 1990 and 1996, Significant Data NASA plans to launch over 30 new missions. These missions are expected Management Challenges to produce tremendous volumes of data, unparalleled in NASA’S history. NASA estimates that by the late 1990s the annual volume of space science data acquired by its missions will increase five thousandfold.4 Thus, by the late 199Os, NASA may annually be handling volumes of data about 29 times greater than the volume of text contained in all 15 million books 3Appendix II explains in more detail other roles that scientists may have on NASA missions. 4?L4SAestimates an increase from .06 terabytes in 1989 to 312 terabytes by the late 1990s. Page 9 GAO/IhlTECI)lS NASA’s Archivea Are Miseing Valuable Data Chapter 1 kroduction held by the Library of Congress6 According to Goddard officials, NASA would annually need over 1.7 million standard reels of magnetic tape or about 48,000 optical disks. In most instances, missions produce large volumes of data which go Missions Generate through several phases from their origination in space to their storage at Several Types of Data a NASA archival facility. For ease of understanding, we placed the many types of space science data into two broad categories-original data and archival data. Original data include@ raw data acquired by spacecraft instruments and sensors; master data records that contain the complete original experi- ment(s) data combined with supporting information such as orbital posi- tion, spacecraft attitude, and command and housekeeping data; and experiment data records which are usually extracted from master data records and contain information about a smaller subset of the spacecraft instruments. * Archival data records are usually created and provided to NASA by prin- cipal investigators7 who have analyzed the original data and reported the results of their research through various publications. Often archived data have been irreversibly changed or transformed through calibration and processing, or reduced in volume by sampling. Appendix III shows the general flow of scientific data from spacecraft to data archival facility. Original data have greater long-term scientific value that archival data. Original Data May Archival data records usually contain only a subset of the original data, Hold Key to F’uture or calculations based on the original data. Our March 1990 report? on Research NASA’S archival practices noted that original data retain their scientific value indefinitely because they (1) are unique and may not be replicated 6This estimate a.qmmesthat an average book contains 300 pages of text, with 400 words per page and 6 characters (bytes) per word. One terabyte is over 1 trillion bytes. 6Although 0riginaI data may include other tywa-so me with no scientific value-we use the term “origind’ to refer primarily to master data records and experiment data records. ‘In some instances, archival rtxords may be also created by investigator teams and guest iIWestigators. NASA IS Not Properly Safeguard@ Its Valuable Space Science Data, (GAO/ Page 10 ~~0-13 NAsA’r Archivea Are Missing Valuable Data Chapter 1 Introduction by future missions, (2) may be combined with data from future mis- sions, (3) may be needed to plan future missions, (4) may be needed for long-term studies of environmental changes, (5) may not have been fully analyzed, (6) may be reprocessed using new computer technology and advanced analytical techniques to obtain new or more accurate informa- tion, or (7) are of significant historic interest.g The Value of Original Data Many space scientists and NASAadvisory groups think that NASAshould permanently archive selected original data so that future investigators H&3Been Established might have access to original, unmodified data suitable for future processing and analysis. According to NASA'S Chief Scientist for the global change research program, scientists need original data from early missions to develop longitudinal data bases. Even if these data have been analyzed before by one group of scientists for one set of purposes, their preservation is increasingly important to scientists in other disciplines. A group of scientists recognized the long-term value of original data in a 1987 report10 that focused on ocean data. This report recommended that, where possible, all original data be saved as a first priority before any- thing else is considered for storage and archiving. While recognizing this would require storing data in their most voluminous state, the report asserted this would allow scientists to reprocess the original, unmodified data sets-an essential condition for further research and analysis. Sim- ilarly, a 1989 report of NASA'S Information Systems Strategic Planning Project (ESPP) recommended that all mission data, defined as potentially valuable by the scientific community, must be archived. The preservation of original data may be important to the global change research program. A 1988 NASA advisory council report! identified many data sets generated by past, active, and planned missions as needed for the long term measurements of global variables. QNASA officials noted that data from some missions may be underst.~~I only by the or@inal lllVestigators. l”Tssues and Recommendations in Satellite Data Management, report of the Satellite Ocean Data system science Worm Group Archive Panel, Scripps Institution of oCe~o@WY, September 1987, p. 6. * ‘Earth System Science: A Close View, Report of the Earth System Science Committee, NASA Advi- sory Council, NASA, January 1988. Page 11 GAO/IMTEC919 NASA’s Archives Are Missing Valuable Data Chapter 2 NASA Is Not Preserving All Valuable Space ScienceData NASA is not preserving all valuable space science data. Except in rare cases, it has not archived original data from past missions that may be needed for future research. Further, NASA’S existing data archives are largely incomplete for many important missions and contain no data for others. These conditions can be attributed to a number of factors. NASA is not archiving original data because its 1978 policy covering archiving of space science data is obsolete. The policy requires that only analyzed data be archived. It permits the destruction of original data that may have significant long-term value for future research. Another reason is that until recently, NASA had not enforced its own policy that requires missions to prepare project data management plans (PDMP) which address essential aspects of mission data management and archiving. With one exception, none of NASA’Sspace science missions launched between May 1978 and October 1985 prepared the required plans that should have described and identified data to be archived or marked for destruction. NASA'S management practices do not guarantee that original data from past missions is fully processed, analyzed, and archived by project scien- tists and principal investigators before being destroyed. NS!XX officials cited numerous reasons why it had incomplete or missing data for some missions, including (1) no formal agreements between NASA and the principal investigators as to what data to archive, and (2) a policy that did not require the archiving of data from bioscience, microgravity, aircraft, balloon, sounding rocket missions, or data from NASA instruments flown on foreign spacecraft or on the Shuttle. They admitted that management controls covering the destruction of original data could be improved, but could not readily explain why missions did not submit required data plans-other than “until recently, no one in NASAtook the PDMP requirement seriously.” A number of NASA'S past missions have not submitted data to NSSDC. For No Data Were example, of the 263 major science missions NASA launched between Archived From Some 1958-1987 (see app. IV), 18 had not submitted any data-digital or Important Missions otherwise-to NSSDC, while 19 had archived only non-digital data such as paper or film records (see app. V). When asked, NSSDC officials could not readily determine the location and status of data for 28 of the 37 missions. Although unaware of the exact location, they said that it was likely that data for these missions were Page 12 chapter 2 NASA b Not Preserving All Valuable Space Science Data held by the principal investigators. @SAofficials told us that the pro- gram managers in OSSA’Sscience divisions should know where these data are located. Because NASA lacks an agency-wide inventory of its tapes containing space science data, we could not readily verify these state- ments or determine whether these data were stored elsewhere. NSDC officials cited six reasons why the center has not archived any data for these missions. First, there was often no formal agreement between NASA and the principal investigators as to what data to archive. Second, NASA has not previously required the archiving of data from bioscience, microgravity, aircraft, balloon, sounding rocket missions, or NASA instruments flown on foreign spacecraft or the Shuttle. Third, other federal agencies, NASA centers, and universities may be archiving some of these data. Fourth, between 1978-1986, NASA missions did not prepare the required project data management plans identifying data to be archived. Fifth, NSSDC staffing and resources were not, during the last decade, adequate to handle the number, complexity, and volume of data to be archived; thus, missing data may not hgve been aggressively pur- sued. NASA recognized this problem in 1988 and is funding NSSDC’S data acquisition function at a higher level. Sixth, missions did not accurately estimate the cost of archiving, resulting in insufficient resources to pre- pare and distribute archival data to NSSDC. In 1989, NSSDC developed a cost model1 designed to help managers estimate archival costs for their missions. It will also help OSSA’Sscience divisions select the appropriate level of archival service, estimate archival costs, and, one hopes, include adequate funding for archival services in the missions’ budgets. Noting inconsistencies in the kind of data archived from mission to mis- sion or discipline to discipline, a recent report2 underscored the need to develop a coherent and comprehensive data management policy to pre- serve all valuable data. Given the absence of uniform format and con- tent requirements for principal investigators to archive their data, it recognized how difficult it is to fiid archived data and analyze them. IA Cota Model for NASA Data Archiving, Version 2.0, National Space Science Data Center, June 1990. %port of the Information Systems Strategic Planning Project: A Recommended Information Systems Strategic Plan for NASA’s Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) and Office of Space @era- tions @SO), January 1990, P. 44. Page 13 ~~0-13 NASA’s Archha Are Mlsslng Valuable Data chapter 2 NASA la Not Reserving All Valuable Space sdence Dat.d NSSDC’sData Holdings for In 1986, the National Research Council’s Committee on Data Manage- ment and Computation (CODMAC) requested that i%ssDcreport on the Many Important Missions status of its archival data holdings for 37 missions that CODMAC and Are Incomplete NSSDC termed “currently important.” NSSDC reviewed its data archives and in June 1987 contacted over 214 principal investigators associated with these missions to locate valuable data that need to be archived. By May 1988, NSSDC received 100 valid and 25 inappropriate responses, with 89 investigators failing to respond to follow-up letters and tele- phone calls.3 In a briefing to CODMAC, NSSDC presented a “project report card.” Of the 374 important missions, only 6 missions had archived more than 90 percent of their data, 7 missions archived between 60 to 90 per- cent, and 23 missions provided less than 60 percent of data due for archiving at NSDC. After discussing the ratings with NSDC staff, we summarized the status of data archival efforts for the 37 missions in Table 2.1. Table 2.1: Status of Archival Data for Currently ImPortant Mission8 . Percentage of data Current level Date of archived at of archival Mission (common abbreviation) launch NSSDC. effortb 1. Atmosphere Explorer C (AE-C) 12173 60-90 none 2. Atmosphere Explorer D (AE-D) lOJ75 60-90 none 3. Atmosphere Explorer E (AE-E) 1 l/75 60-90 none 4. Active Magnetosphere Particle Tracer Explorer Charge Composition Explorer (AMPTE/ w84 60-90 good CCE) 5. Active Magnetosphere Particle Tracer Explorer Ion Release Module (AMPTE/IRM) 8184 > 90 completedC 6. Active Magnetosphere Particle Tracer Explorer United Kingdom Subsatellite (AMPTE/UKS) 8184 0 noned 7. Dynamic Explorer 1 (DE-l ) am < 10 very good 8. Dynamic Explorer 2 (DE-2) s/s1 c 10 very good 9. Interplanetary Monitoring Platform J (IMP-J) I o/73 60-90 faw 10. International Sun Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE 1) 1o/77 lo-29 good 11. International Sun Earth Explorer 2 (ISEE 2) 1o/77 lo-29 good 12. International Sun Earth Explorer C (ISEE C) 0/78 lo-29 good 13. Orbiting Solar Observatory 8 (OS0 8) 6/75 lo-29 poor 14. Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) 2180 30-59 fair (continued) 31ncommenting on the poor response to NSSDC’s letter to principalinvestigators, NSSDC’sdirector noted that if NSDC could not get information on NASA space science data held by individual mvesti- gators, the members of the scientific community may not fare any better. 4Data from one mission are archived in England and were therefore not included in our analysis of NSSDC’s holdings. Page 14 GAO/lMTEC913 NASA’r Archhes Are Thing Valuable Data ChApter 2 NASA b Not Preserving All Valuable Space Science Data Percentage of data Current level archived at of archival Mission (common abbreviation) NSSDC’ effortb 15 Manner 6 2169 < 10 none 16. Manner 7 3169 < 10 none 17 Manner 9 5/7l < 10 none 18. Manner 10 11/73 30-59 none 19. Pioneer 10 3172 30-59 good 20. Pioneer 11 4173 30-59 good 21. Pioneer Venus A Orbrter 5178 IO-29 fair 22. Pioneer Venus 2 8178 lo-29 farr 23. Viking 1 8/75 30-59 none 24. Vikrng 2 9/75 30-59 none 25. Voyager 1 9/77 30-59 good 26. Voyager 2 8177 30-59 good 27. High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1 (HEAO 1) 8177 30-59 very poor 28. High Energy Astronomy Observatory B (HEAO B) llp78 60-90 none 29. High Energy Astronomy Observatory 3 (HEAO 3) Q/79 1O-29 very poor 30. Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) 1183 > 90 completeC 31. International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) l/79 > 90 completeC 32. Earth Radiatton Budget Satellite (ERBS) 1o/84 60-W good 33. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) 4178 100 complete 34 Nimbus 7 10178 > 90 completeC 35. Ocean Dynamic Satellite A (SEASAT A) 6178 30-59 unknowne 36. Solar Mesosphere Explorer (SME) 1O/81 > 90 complete 37. Shuttle Imaging Radar B (SIR-B) 1o/84 30-29 unknowrY sNSSDC estimate of data that should be archrved by each missron. bNSSDC’s assessment of the level of effort by the principal investigators and projects to generate archival data for submission to NSSDC. COSSA officials told us that the archiving of data for these mrssions was successfully completed. dNSSDC officials said that data from this mission are archived in the United Kingdom eNSSDC was not aware of the current archival efforts because data from this mrssion are archived at JPL. An NSSDC official expressed concern about the possible misinterpretation of Table ‘2.1, since its determination of the volume of data that ought to be archived by the NSSDC is subjective. He provided a listing of facilities storing “as yet not archived” data as well as an explanation of MSDC’S archival effort for these missions. This information is presented in appendix V. Page 16 GAO/IMTEC~M NASA% kchlves Are Mlsalng Valuable Dm Chapter 2 NASA ls Not Preeervlng All Valuable Space sdence Data The incompleteness of NSSDC’S archives was addressed in a 1989 NASA report which noted that: A wealth of data has been acquired on NASA missions and some, but not all, of these data have been submitted to the NSSDC.Scientists involved in NASA programs require access to these data to solve outstanding scientific problems and to prepare for future missions in a situation in which present data are insufficient. These users need to know the extent and quality of the NSSDCdata holdings, as does NSSDC,to assess what it has and what it has not, but should have. Thus, NSSDCshould per- form a complete review of its archive, determine what it needs to curate in its pre- sent archive, and what it needs to aggressively procure.6 An NSSDC official pointed out that in order to accomplish this objective, NSSDC would need the full cooperation of the scientific community. The overall management and archiving of NASA'S space science data is Policy Permits the governed by a 1978 policy.s Among other things, the policy defines the Destruction of type of space science data records to be archived. It directs NSSDCto Valuable Data archive analyzed data prepared by principal investigators, specifically excludes original data records from permanent archiving, and does not require archiving data from life sciences, microgravity, aircraft, balloon, sounding rocket missions, or from instruments carried by foreign space- craft and by the Shuttle.7 According to NASA officials, OSSAformulated its 1978 policy when most missions were flying instruments that were developed and sometimes built by principal investigators. Because it was believed in nearly all cases that only the principal investigators from these missions could understand and analyze the data, the agency deemed it appropriate to archive only analyzed data identified by the principal investigators as important to save. NASA officials told us they were planning to revise NASA’S data management policy during 1990. 61nformstionSystemsStrategicPlanning Project,ScienceUserWorkshop,PanelReports,Annapolis, fiaryland, May l-3,1989, p. 7. sPolicy ConcerningData Obtainedfrom SpaceFlight Investigations,NASAManagementInstruction 8b30.3A,May 2,197s. 7NAS4’s sounding rocket and balloon program is managed by Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility. Wallopslaunchesabout QOballoons and sounding rwkets per year. NASA is archiving data from some Shuttle missions, according to one official, “based on common sense rather than on specific lules.” Page 16 GAO-9143 NASA’s Archived Are Mlaslng Valuable Data Chapter 2 NASAImNotPmae~AllV-m 8clence Data NASA’s Records Schedule 268 implements portions of the 1978 data man- agement policy and provides day-today agencywide guidance on the disposal of space science data. It requires that original data be destroyed after analyzed data have been archived, unless a NASA field center director approves their retention. NASA must seek NARA approval to destroy any unprocessed original data. Under a key provision of NASA’s1978 data management policy, each mis- Required Mission Data sion must prepare a project data management plan. The plans should Management Plans address all essential functions related to the mission’s management and Were Not Prepared archiving of space science data, including plans for data analysis and dissemination, milestones for data processing and analysis, identification, and time limits for the transfer of valuable data to perma- nent archives, and . plans for destroying original data. L NASA stresses the importance of developing this information because the submission of space science data to N!SSDC often extends over a period of time much longer than the life of the spacecraft project office, thus making the PDIW a valuable post-project agreement. Because NSSDC is the sole NASAorganization responsible for identifying and acquiring archival data in the post-mission phase, its ability to identify and acquire archival data depends on detailed project data management plans and cooperation from each project. Only one of NASA’s25 space science missions launched between May 1978 and October 1985 prepared the required plans9 Hence, these mis- sions, which are listed in appendix VI, have not formally identified data that should be archived or marked for destruction. Since 1988, three out of eight active missions have not prepared the plans. (Appendix VII details the submission of PDMPSfor other active and future missions.) *NASA &m-da tS&dule 26: complterserrsiblesdentific, Engineering, and JQqerimental, December 4,1978. Page 17 GAo/lMTEcs13 NA!w’B k&ivea Are Missing Valuable Data Chapter 2 NASA Ia Not Prwem Au Valuable SLICE Science Data Lax Enforcement Cited as Acknowledging the missions’ lack of compliance, NASA officials could not explain why NASA has not enforced this requirement. One official Reasonfor Noncompliance responsible for agency-wide coordination of science data management activities noted that until recently, “no one in NASA took the PDMP requirement seriously.” The ESPP task force partially explained the mis- sions’ lackluster performance in this area, noting that the development of a data management plan has been imposed on individual projects, but the project has been left to its own devices to prepare this document. No management structure or support approach exists to assist in the imple- mentation of such a p1a.r~~~ Better Management data can be released after analyzed data has been archived. We noted, Safeguards Needed to however,that NASA is routinely releasing tapes without adequately ensuring that archival data had been created. Between 1986 to 1989, Prevent Premature Goddardreleased over 532,000 tapes, a large portion of which contained Destruction Of~~@Xd odginddata.*2 * Data Current Policies Permit the NASA'S agencywide records management policy permits original data to be destroyed only after analyzed data have been archived. Before Disposal of Original Data destroying any original data that was not analyzed and archived, NASA must obtain approval from NARA. Goddard’s local policy, however, does not establish a system of sound management controls to ensure that the required data have been successfully archived before destroying orig- inal data. The policy also does not require projects to obtain NARA'S approval for destroying data that was not analyzed or archived. l”Information System Strategic Planning (ISSP) propct, Science User Workshop, Annapolis, Mary- land, May 13, 1989, p. 8. “NASA Records Disposition Handbook (NHB 1441.1A), NASA Records Schedule 26: Computer-sen- SibiesCientific, Engineering, and Experimental, December 4.1978, and Goddard Space Flight Center Management Instruction (GM1 8030.1A), Retention of Magnetic Data Tapes, March 7,1979. 12The 632,000 tapes released by Goddard are not included in the count of the 1.2 million tapes in NASA’s storage. Page 18 GAO-913 NASA’s Archives Are Missing Valuable Data Chapter 2 NASA In Not Preaeming All Valuable Space Sdence Data No Guarantee at Goddard Original data from many missions are often stored at Goddard. Because That Analyzed Data Are of overcrowding at its tape storage facility, as well as the cost of storing magnetic tapes indefinitely, Goddard periodically purges its inventory. Archived Before Original Essentially, Goddard gives users two options-release the tapes for Data Are Destroyed reuse, or get special permission from the Director of Goddard and fund their retention. If users elect to release the tapes, they are not specifi- cally required to determine or certify that archival data have been created. One user explained that he had released thousands of tapes because he could not afford continued storage and was reluctant to raise the reten- tion issue all the way up to the Goddard director. He told us that data on the tapes were valuable, and, in an attempt to salvage some of them, he authorized the destruction of every other carton of tapes, placing the tapes he saved in a basement at Goddard. Because of concerns about Goddard’s practices, we requested NARA to assess Goddard’s tape release program and to determine if tapes have been released without proper authorization.*On March 27,1990, NARA representatives met with NASA and Goddard staff to discuss this issue. In a subsequent letter to NASAdated April 6,1990, NAFtA noted it could not determine conclusively whether any unauthorized disposal had occurred. According to a NM&i official, time constraints and inadequate documentation prevented it from determining whether original data were released without proper authorization. However, because NAFLA believed that original data may have been destroyed before the archival records were created, it recommended that NASA develop a mechanism to prevent the destruction of original records before analyzed data were archived at NSSDC. A NARA official stated that unless NASA implemented safeguards to protect original data from premature disposal, potentially valuable data may be destroyed. P8ge 19 GAO/lMTEG@ld NA8A’a hrebiver he bfladng Valuable Data Chapter 3 Scientists’ Participation in Data Management An extensive network of committees, advisory panels, and working groups exists to involve closely affiliated and outside scientists in data management and archiving decisions and activities. Affiliated scientists are actively involved in broad aspects of planning future missions. How- ever, they have expressed serious concerns about their limited involve- ment in the development and operation of mission data systems. Outside scientists are generally not involved in data management and archiving activities, even though their involvement is encouraged by NASA policy. NASA recently sponsored a comprehensive effort known as the Informa- tion Systems Strategic Planning Project (ISSPP). The project was formed to develop strategic goals to meet the information systems challenges of the 1990s. It involved nearly 200 participants from the scientific com- munity, NASA headquarters and field centers, and contractors. In gen- eral, scientists who were interviewed during the project stated that NASA’S mission data systems will never be successful unless they can fully participate in the planning, design, development, operation, and evaluation of these systems. A recent project report’ noted that scien- tists’ participation on high-level advisory p&tels was important but not sufficient. The report stated that frequent involvement by scientists on the working level was more essential, allowing them to work closely with NASA centers and contract personnel in developing and operating mission data management systems. According to an OSSAofficial, several mechanisms involve scientists in Scientists Participate the management of space science data, including the Space Science and in Data Management Applications Advisory Committee (&UC), management operations working groups, and mission-level data management and science teams. Activities Scientists Participate in In November 1988, NASA established SSAACto advise oss~ on space obser- vations and the use of space technology in support of space exploration SSAACand Its and research. The committee set up several discipline-oriented subcom- Subcommittees to Advise n&tees to advise 06~‘s science divisions. One of these, the Communica- OSSA tions and Information Systems Subcommittee, was specifically chartered to provide advice to OSSA’SCommunication and Information Systems Division, which is primarily responsible for managing NASA'S space sci- ence data. lInformaUon Systems Scenarios for Space Sdeswe and AppkaUo~, Information Systems Strategic RaNling~operauo dM ti systema Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Univedty of Col&tt, Boig iiiember 1999, p. 6. Page 20 GAO/lMTlW9lS NASA’r Archivea An Misoin# Valuable Data Chapter 3 Sdentiata’ Participation in DNA bhnagement SSAAChas met three times since its formation in late 1988. The minutes of its meetings show that the committee and its subcommittees focused largely on funding priorities for proposed missions. It is too early to assess the impact of the new advisory structures on the overall direction of NASA'S space exploration research. However, the committee and its subcommittees-particularly the Communication and Information Sys- tems subcommittee-could furnish valuable input and guidance to NASA'S management and archiving of space science data. Scientists Participate in OSSApursues scientist participation on the sub-discipline and project levels through management operations working groups. OSSAofficials Management Operations told us these groups played an important role in allowing scientists not Working Groups to Advise affiliated with NASA missions to participate in the planning and manage- OSSA’sScienceDivisions ment of various aspects of space science research. In 1989, OSSA’Sscience divisions sponsored 24 groups in the microgravity, space physics, earth science, solar system exploration, flight systems, astronomy and astro- physics, and life sciences disciplines. Although these groups could influ- ence future NASA missions, as well as guide the management and archiving of data collected by past missions, their activities have been largely focused on programmatic, rather than data management, issues. CESAis planning to expand the role of outside scientists in the manage ment and archiving of space science data. An oss~ official told us the office has two data management working groups-one ongoing and one planned. The Astrophysics Data System working group operates under the aegis of the Astrophysics division’s Science Operations Branch. A second group, the Space Science Data Systems Steering Committee, has been established by the Space Physics division. According to the ISSPP task force, both divisions have gotten user involvement. An NSSDCoffi- cial also told us that the Life Science discipline has put a group of scien- tists together, in a committee, to review future data management issues. In addition, the NSSDCis hosting a microgravity data management and archiving workshop. Mission-Level Teams Project and mission-level teams make detailed data management and archiving decisions. However, scientists, including potential users of Making Critical Data data who were not affiliated with a specific mission, seldom partici- Management Decisions pated in mission-level data management and archival decisions. NSSDC Seldom Include Scientists guidelines for developing project data management plans stress the importance of establishing mission-level data management advisory committees to guide the development of mission data management and Page 21 GAO/IlldTw’rgl-8 NASA’@ Archivea Are wvine vdmble DMA chapter 3 Scientists’ Partidpation in Data Management archival plans. Their role is to determine which data should be archived, what ancillary information should be stored with the data, and when and where the archiving should be done. The guidelines recommend that the committee include, if possible, potential investigators--outside scien- tists-not associated with the mission. JPL officials who manage the Mars Observer, Galileo, and Magellan mis- sions told us that they were not aware of any NASA guidelines requiring them to seek input from outside scientists. However, they noted that each project published data-related information and seeks input in other forms. Examples they cited included the distribution of project newslet- ters and consultations with the NASA-funded Planetary Science Data Steering Group. They believed these activities ensured that the interests of the science community were adequately represented. Their Participation in expressed concern about their lack of involvement in planning, devel- a Key Data - op-mg, and operating mission data management systems. This concern is not new. In 1982, CODM+~C noted there was commonly a lack of scientific Management Area Is involvement in data-system planning during the early mission planning Ineffective and system development phase.2 The committee recommended that NASA involve scientists in alI mission phases, noting this involvement should include an oversight of scientific data management activities carried out through a peer review process. &?turning to this problem in 1988, CODMX reported3 that NASA empha- sized the collection of space science data while paying less attention to its handling, management, and dissemination. The report argued that scientists must help plan data collection activities to ensure high scien- tific return from the data. The committee recommended that future mis- sions allow scientists to participate more actively in the data management process. 2~ Mwmnt ad &mput,&bn, Volume 1: Issues and RecommendatiorL% ‘.kmmk@ on Data Mvnt and Co S Science Board, Assembly of Mathematical and physical Ski- en-, N&,imal Rese%~~h~onal Academy Press, Washin@n, DC., 1982, p. 2. 3!3elected Lsues in Space Sciene Data Management and Computation, Committee on Data Manage mat md computation, spaces&m BoardCommission on Physical sciences, Mathematic% and Resources, National Research councii, Natlohl Academy Press, Washington, DC., 1988, p. 6. Page 22 GAO/WTEGB13 NAfM’r w Are Ibiblng Valuable Data chapter 3 Sdentbts’ Partidpation in Data Management In December 1989, i’ years after CODhLC’S report, NASA’S ISSPP repeated the earlier concerns. Its report’ noted that the number one concern (and frequent complaint) of scientists was the lack of adequate arrangements for user involvement in the planning, design, building, operation, and evaluation of experiment control and information handling systems. Scientists were tired of information systems that did not work well, promises that were never kept, and studies with no follow-through. Underscoring the need for user input on both the advisory and working levels, the report recommended that NASA reverse the recent trend under which the role of university scientists in system planning and develop- ment was shrinking in favor of NASA engineers and investigators. ‘Information Systems Scenarios for Space Science and Applications, Information Systems Strategic Planning Project, Operations and Information Systems, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, December 1989, p. 6. Page 23 GAO/IMTEC@lJ NASA’0 w &e Mbdng Valuable Data Chapter 4 Conclusionsand Recommendations During the last three decades NASA has achieved spectacular success in many aspects of space exploration and has provided scientists with data that have greatly expanded our understanding of the universe, the solar system, and Earth. Through hundreds of missions it has collected mas- sive volumes of data and expects the annual volume to increase five thousandfold by the late 1990s. NASA’s data archives, however, are incomplete for many important missions and contain no data for others. For example, 23 of 37 important scientific missions had archived less than 60 percent of the required data, and 18 of the 263 missions launched between 1958 to 1987 sent no data to NSSDC. NASA officials attributed the archival shortfalls to several factors, including a lack of (1) formal agreements between NASA and the prin- cipal investigators as to what data to archive, and (2) requirements to archive data from such sources and disciplines as bioscience, microgravity, aircraft, balloon, sounding rocket missions, and NASA instruments flown on foreign spacecraft or the Shuttle. Considering the onslaught of data expected by the late 199Os, now is a good time to determine if missing archival data from these missions are worth pur- suing. If so, NASA should take aggressive steps to obtain outstanding archival data from past missions. Although many data have been collected over the past 30 years, NASA is not archiving all potentially valuable data. NASA’S 1978 data manage- ment policy was written when NASA believed that only analyzed data should be saved because scientists may not understand original data. However, analyzed data have often been irreversibly changed or trans- formed through calibration and processing, or were reduced in volume by sampling. Many space scientists and NASA advisory groups now believe NASA should permanently archive selected original data as a first priority. Although scientists recognize that such a changed policy may require the storage of data in a more voluminous state, they think future scientists must be able to access the original, unmodified data for fur- ther research and analysis. NASA agrees that its policy needs more flexi- bility and plans to revise it during 1990. NASA’s archives are incomplete because it failed for 10 years to enforce its own policy requiring missions to prepare PDMPS, which address essen- tial aspects of mission data management and archiving. With 1 excep- tion, none of NASA’S 25 space science missions launched between May Page 24 ~~o/nfmCB13 NASA’SAmhives Are Missing Valuable Data ClUpter4 Concluaiona and Recommendationa 1978 and October 1985’ prepared them. Because these missions have not formally described or identified data that should be archived or marked for destruction, NSSDC has been hard-pressed to ensure the proper archiving of data from some missions. Recognizing the importance of the plans, NASA now appears headed in the right direction-five of the eight missions launched from February 1988 to July 1990 have submitted the required plans. However, NASA must remain vigilant to ensure that every mission prepares a PDMP well before launch. NASA must also establish better management controls to ensure that orig- inal data are not destroyed until archival data have been provided to the archival facility. Although policy permits original data to be destroyed after analyzed data are archived, it does not require that project offices attest to their creation. We found that NASA had routinely released thousands of tapes-many containing original data-without guaran- teeing that analyzed data had been archived. A NARA official echoed our concerns, stating that unless NASA implemented safeguards to protect original data from premature disposal, poter$ially valuable data may be destroyed. NASA'S extensive network of committees, advisory panels, and working groups provides the basic framework within which scientists can par- ticipate in the planning, development, and operation of mission data sys- tems. Groups such as (1) SSAAL: and its discipline-oriented subcommittees, (2) the management operations working groups, and (3) mission-level data management and science teams could offer substan- tial advice and guidance to NASA in all areas of mission planning, devel- opment, and operations, if specifically tasked to do so. However, early efforts by several of these groups have apparently focused on budget and programmatic problems, with less attention to data management issues. In addition, groups of scientists have persistently complained about their lack of involvement in the development and operation of mission data management systems. This was cited as a continuing problem by CODMAC in 1982 and 1988, and again by NASA'S own ESPPtask force in 1989. NASA could increase the involvement of scientists in data management and archiving activities by requiring, rather than encouraging, projects to enlist outside scientists as members of the mission-level data manage- ment advisory committees. These teams make important decisions on ‘This covers the time period between the date the PDMP requirement went into effcxt and the last mission launched prior to the Challenger accident. Page 26 GAO,~ITEC@~S NASA’~ Archives Are biis~lng Valuable Data chapter 4 Conclusion and Eecmnmendalio~ which data should be archived, what additional information should be stored with the data to make it more usable, and when and where the archiving should be done. We recommend that the Administrator: Recommendations . require NSSDC to identify and, if warranted and cost effective, obtain all outstanding archival data from past missions not yet delivered to its archives; . revise data management policy to (1) recognize the need to archive selected original data of potential long-term scientific value, and (2) specify archiving requirements for data produced by life science, microgravity, aircraft, balloon, and sounding rocket missions, and data from NASA instruments flown on Shuttle missions and foreign spacecraft; . ensure that all missions develop and submit approved PDMPS; . establish and enforce an internal controls system to ensure that original data are not destroyed until NSIX has received all appropriate archival data; and . determine what additional actions could be taken to (1) involve scien- tists more in the development and operation of mission data manage- ment systems, and (2) more strongly encourage missions to include participation of outside scientists on mission-level data management committees. In commenting on a draft of this report, NASA said that it presents a Agency Comments useful assessment of some key issues in science data management. Fur- ther, NASA noted that it shares many of the concerns we identified, and said it has programs underway or plans to address them. NASA'S com- ments and our evaluation are included in appendix IX. Page 20 GAO/IlUTEGB13 NASA’s Archivea Are Musing Valuable Data . Page 27 ~~0-14 NASA’s Archivea Are Missing Valuable Data Appendix I Objectives, Scope,and Methodology On November 9, 1988, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology asked us to report on several aspects of N’ASA’Smanagement and archiving of space science data. Our first report on this subject was issued on March 2, 1990.’ Our current objectives were to determine (1) whether NASA is archiving its most valuable data, and (2) the extent to which a mechanism exists for obtaining input from the scientific com- munity on what types of space science data should be archived. To meet these objectives, we: l reviewed policies and guidelines governing the management, NASA’s archiving, and destruction of space science data; . reviewed reports and documents related to the management of space sci- ence data, including reports prepared by and various scientific NASA groups and committees; . interviewed NASA and JPL officials responsible for the overall manage- ment of NASA’Sspace science data; . interviewed representatives and analyzed NSSDC archival data NSSDC’S holdings; . interviewed officials responsible for overseeing NARA record man- NASA’S agement activities; and l interviewed JPL project managers and staff responsible for the design, development, and operations of the Galileo mission to Jupiter, Magellan mission to Venus, and the Mars Observer mission. Our audit work was performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards, between December 1989 and May 1990. We obtained written comments on a draft of this report from NASA offi- cials and have incorporated these comments where appropriate. rations: NASA Is Not Properly Safeguarding Valuable Data From Past Missions (GAO/ Page 28 GAO,‘IMTECz)lS NASA’s Archivea Are Mieeh@i Vduabie Data Appendix II Scientists’ Involvement Virtually all of NASA’s past missions and some future missions used or Principal Investigators will use the principal investigator model. Under this approach or model, the principal investigators, frequently working with co-investigators, are responsible for the planning, development, and integration of experi- ments and instruments, data analysis, and the selection and preparation of the analyzed data for archiving. Although guest investigators seldom participate in the initial mission Guest Investigators planning or instrument design, they have access to space science data to conduct independent investigations. This approach was used in several missions, and NASA plans to use this approach in future missions, most notably the Hubble Space Telescope, which will have a major guest investigator component. 1Investigator Team their instruments. This approach helps collaborative research and Member allows them to share intermediate results a&l data processing tech- niques. For example, this approach worked in the Atmospheric Explorer program, where a common mission data base was accessible to all investigators. To a great extent, retrospective investigators represent the scientific Retrospective community. They are usually not associated with NASA missions and Investigator play no part in the instrument development, the initial data analysis, or in archiving analyzed or reduced data. By and large, they conduct research using data archived by the NSSDC or by other NASA data storage facilities and projects, as well as data provided informally by the prin- cipal investigators. P8ge 29 GAO/IMTEGB~~ NASA’s Archivea Are Mbeing Valuable Data Typical Data Flow From Past Earth-Orbiting or Deep SpaceMissions Earth orbrnng satellrie acqurres TDRS relays spacecraft telemetry Domestrc communrcatron satelkie and Iransmfts space scfence data to TDRS ground termmal in Whtte ~ IDOMSAT) to one of the three Trackrng and Sands, New Mextco. -+ Data Relav SatelInes ITDRS). 1’ - L.-.~C’““C’II YcaLca Records to pnncrpal mvestrgators. Goddard’s mrssron data processmg center creates vanous type of ntermedfate data records, and Whrte Sands relays the captured distnbutes EDRs to NASA’s pnncrpal telemetrv vra domestrc communrcatfon rnvestrgators. All rntermedfate data. satellite to NASA’s Goddard Space Including the Ongfnal. Master. and Flight Center. Expenment Data Records are sent to NASA tape storage facrlrtres. Ongrnal. Master, and Exoenment Data Several drscrpkne data systems WIII provide data management and archival support to selected earth orbftal mfssrons.’ NASA’s tape storage facrlrtfes wrll destroy Intermediate data after archfved data are created and archrved. aJPL’s WIII support Magellan. Gallleo. and Mars Observer Mfssions. ‘Operatronal systems Include (1) NASA Ocean Data System, NASA Climate Data System, and (3) Pilot Land Data System. Other systems are under development, rncludrng the Astrophysics Data System, wdh the Hubble Tapes contarmng Space Telescope Data System as one of Its nodes, the Space Physics Data Intermediate data System. and the Earth Observrng Data and Information System. reused or destroyed. Page 30 GAO/lMTEC913 NASA’r Archivea Are Missing Valuable Data ~- Appendix III Typical Data Plow Prom Pant Eatthorbking or Deep Space MIssi Planetary exploration spacecraft acqurres and transmrts space scrence data to JPLs Deep Space Network (DSN) rn Goldstone. CA. Expenment Data Records to princrpal Pnncrpal Investrgators. rnvestrgators JPL rmsston data processrng center creates various types of rntermedrate data records, and drstnbutes EDRs to NASA’s pnncrpal rnvesttgators. All rnlermedrate data, rncludrng the Ongrnal. Master. and Expenment Data Records are sent to NASA tape storage factlrttes. Analyzed or Reduced Data Records to NSSDC. I Captured data are shopped or * transmrtted to JPCs mrssion data processrnq center Natronal Space Scrence Data Center- NASA’s pnnctpal data archwe. Planetary Data System (PDS) wrll provrde data management and archival support to selected deep TAPE space mrsstons.’ Analyzed or Reduced STORAGE Data Records to other rnvestrgators. NASA’s tape storage facrlrties WIII destroy rntermedtate data after archrved data are created and archwed. Secondary or restrospectwe Tapes contatntng rnvestrgators. rntermedtate data reused or destroyed Page 31 GAOA~ITEG~~~ NASA’s Archivee Are Misaiug Valuable Data Appendix IV Holdings From Major Missions Archived by the NSSDC ,.,, Quantity of holding8 by Storage medium. Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tapes Paper Film Pioneer 1 Able 1 10/l l/56 0 4 6 Pioneer 3 1956 THETA 1 1216156 0 0 0 Vanguard 2 Vanguard SLV 4 2/l 7159 0 0 13 Proneer 4 1959 NU 1 313159 0 0 0 Explorer 6 Able 6 am 3 14 109 Vanguard 3 Vanguard TV4 Backup 911a/59 1 0 11 Explorer 7 1959 Iota 1 1O/l 3159 la 0 10 Pioneer 5 1960 ALPHA 1 3/l l/66 0 2,ooo 39 TIROS 1 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 1 (TIROS A) 411If.33 0 0 4 ECHO 1 1960 IOTA 1 a/12/60 1 0 38 Explorer 6 1960x11 11/3;60 0 0 6 TIROS 2 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 2 (TIROS B) 11/23/66 126 0 14 Explorer 9 1960 DELTA 1 2/l S/61 0 0 4 P 14 1960 KAPPA 1, Explorer 10 3125161 0 0 3 s 15 1960 NU 1, Explorer 11 4/27/61 3 0 7 TIROS 3 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 3 (TIROS C) 7/12/61 79 0 17 EPE-A 1961 UPSILON 1, Explorer 12 a/16/61 37 0 la S 55A 1961 CHI 1, Explorer 12 (Meteoroid Satellite) a/25/61 0 0 4 TIROS 4 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 4 (TIROS D) 2/a/62 144 0 22 OS0 1 Orbiting Solar Observatory 1 (OS0 A) 3i7m 27 0 119 ARIEL 1 1962 OMICRON 1, UK 1 4126162 2 0 21 TIROS 5 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 5 (TIROS E) S/l 9162 0 0 17 Mariner 2 1962 ALPHA RHO 1 a/27/62 6 0 11 TIROS 6 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 6 (TIROS F) 9/18/62 0 0 23 Alouette 1 1962 BETA ALPHA 1 9/29/62 108 14 10,872 EPE-B 1962 BETA GAMMA 1, Explorer 14 1O/2/62 122 0 43 EPE-C 1962 BETA LAMBDA 1, Explorer 15 1O/27/62 26 0 9 Relav 1 1962 BETA UPSILON 1 12/l 3162 11 3900 16 ii 558 1962 BETA CH 1, Explorer 16 121l6/62 0 4 15 AE-A Atmosphere Explorer A (Explorer 17) 413163 0 0 7 TIROS 7 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 7 (TIR OS G1 6/19/63 701 0 52 IMP-A lnterplanetarv Monitorina Platform A (IMP 1, Explore ?r la) 11;27;63 44 0 20 AD-A Air Density Explorer A (Explorer 19) 12/19/ 63 0 0 7 TIROS 6 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 6 (TIROS H) 12/21/63 0 0 29 Relay 2 Relay B 1;21;64 6 0 26 Echo 2 Echo C l/25/64 1 0 39 Ariel 2 Ariel2 3/27/64 0 0 14 Ranger 7 RAB 7128164 0 0 4,325 (continued) Page 32 GAO/IMTESB14 NASA% Archiva Are Missing Valuable Data Appendix IV Holdinga From biajor blldona Archived by the NSSDC Quantity of holdings by storaqe medium. Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tape8 Paper Film IE-A Ionosphere Explorer A (Explorer 20) 0/25/64 1 0 1,176 NIMBUS 1 Nimbus A 0/20/64 238 0 195 OGO 1 Orbttrng Geophysrcal Observatory 1 (OGO A) g/wJ 410 39 146 IMP-B Interplanetary Monrtonng Platform B (IMP 2, Explorer 21) 1o/4/64 40 0 11 BE-B Beacon Explorer B (Explorer 22) 10/10/&t 3 27 39 s 55c Explorer 23 11/S/64 0 1 17 AD-B Air Denstty Explorer B (Explorer 24) 1l/21/64 0 0 28 lnjun 4 Explorer 25 1 l/21/64 282 0 24 Manner 4 Mariner 4 11/28/64 12 0 192 San Marco 1 San Marco A 12/15/&I 0 0 2 EPE-D Energetic Particle Explorer D (Explorer 26) 12/21/&I 256 0 17 TIROS 9 Televwon Infrared Observation Satellite 9 (TIROS I) l/22/65 0 0 18 OS0 2 Orbiting Solar Observatory 2 (OS0 8) 213165 0 0 10 Pegasus 1 Pegasus 1 2/16/65 1 0 17 Ranger 8 Ranger 8 2/l 7165 0 0 7,142 Ranger 9 Ranger 9 3/21/65 0 0 5,819 BE-C Beacon Explorer C (Explorer 27) 4/25/65 140 0 55 Pegasus 2 Pegasus 2 5/25/65 1 0 17 IMP-C Interplanetary Monrtoring Platform C (IMP 3, Explorer 28) 5129165 118 0 15 Geminr 4 Gemini 4 613165 0 0 0 TIROS 10 Television Infrared Observation Satellite 10 7Jm 0 0 12 Pegasus 3 Pegasus 3 7/30/65 1 0 16 Gemini 5 Gemini 5 8/21/65 0 0 1 OGO 2 Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 2 (OGO C) 10/14/65 43 227 35 GEOS 1 Geodetic Explorer 1 (GEOS A, Explorer 29) 11J6J65 274 0 7 Pioneer 6 Pioneer A 12116165 47 122 39 Solar Explorer Explorer 30 11/19/65 22 0 13 DME-A Explorer 31 11/29/65 100 0 2.539 Alouette 2 Alouette B 11129165 118 1,626 7,348 Gemini 7 Gemini 7 12/4/65 0 0 1 ESSA 1 OT3 2131% 0 0 10 ESSA 2 OT2 2/28/66 0 0 22 NIMBUS 2 Nimbus C 5115166 1,858 5 3,031 AE-B Atmosphere Explorer B (Explorer 32) 5/25/f% 1 1 9 Surveyor 1 Surveyor 1 5/3oJ~ 0 0 11,540 OGO 3 Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 3 (OGO B) 6J7J66 254 0 702 PAGEOS 1 Pageos A 6124166 55 0 24 IMP-D Interplanetary Monitoring Platform D (AIMP 1) 7/l/66 436 0 60 Gemini 10 Gemini 10 7/l 0166 0 0 1 (continued) Page 38 GAOm91-8 NASA’r Adha h Muln# Valuable Data Appendix IV Holdin@ Prom b&W IWatolls Archived by the N§SDC Quantity of holdings by storage mediuma - Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tapes Paper Film Lunar Orbiter 1 Lunar Orbiter A a/IO/ 0 1315 Pioneer 7 Pioneer B 8/l 7/66 28 94 29 Gemini 11 Gemini 11 g/12/66 0 0 0 Lunar Orbiter 2 Lunar Orbiter B 1 l/6/66 22 0 35,011 Gemini 12 Geminr 12 11/11/66 0 0 0 ATS 1 Applrcation Technology Satellite 1 (ATS B) 12/7/66 142 36 99 Biosatellite 1 Biosatellite 1 12/14/66 0 0 0 ESSA 4 TOS B l/26 167 0 1 6 Lunar Orbiter 3 Lunar Orbiter C 2 15167 22 0 20,960 OS0 3 Orbiting Solar Observatory 3 (OS0 E) 310167 293 0 24 ATS 2 Application Technology Satellite 2 (ATS A) 416167 65 0 15 Surveyor 3 Surveyor 3 4/l 7167 1 0 12,997 ESSA5 TOSC 4120167 0 0 13 San Marco 2 San Marco B 4126167 0 0 3 Lunar Orbiter 4 Lunar Orbiter D j/4/67 18 0 19,281 Ariel 3 UK3 5/S/67 138 0 70 IMP-F Interplanetary Monitoring Platform F (IMP 4, Expl. 34) 5124167 366 17 521 Mariner 5 Mariner Venus 67 6/14/67 10 0 4 IMP-E Interplanetary Monitoring Platform E (AIMP 2, Expl. 35) 7/l 9167 402 0 170 OGO 4 Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 4 (OGO D) 7;20;67 580 0 219 Lunar Orbiter 5 Lunar Orbiter E a/1 167 21 0 35,045 Biosatellite 2 Biosatellite 2 917167 0 0 12 Surveyor 5 Surveyor E 9;8;67 4 0 36.487 OS0 4 Orbiting Solar Observatory 4 (OS0 D) IO/18167 29 0 26 ATS 3 Application Technology Satellite 3 (ATS C) 1l/5/67 0 5 86 Surveyor 6 Survevor F 11I7167 2 0 60.512 ESSA 6 TOS D 11/10/67 0 5 li Pioneer 8 Pioneer C 12/13/67 19 52 65 TETR 1 Test and Training Satellite 1 (TETR A) 12Jl3J67 0 0 2 Survevor7 Survevor G l/7/68 3 0 42.241 GEOS 2 Geodetic Explorer 2 (GEOS B, Explorer 36) 1,; l/68 81 0 31 OGO 5 Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 5 (OGO E) 3/4/m 918 0 599 SOLRAD 9 Explorer 37 3/5/@3 0 0 0 ESRO 2 International Radiation Satellite 1 (ESRO 28, IRIS) 5/I 7/68 0 0 2 RAE-A Radio Astronomv Explorer A (RAE l( Explorer 38) 7/4/68 0 0 2,499 AD-C Air Density Explorer C (Explorer 39) 0/W@ 0 0 16 lnjun 5 lnjun C (Explorer 40) ww~ 11,829 0 21,829 ATS 4 Application Technology Satellite 4 (ATS D) S/10/66 0 0 2 ESSA 7 TOS E 8/16/68 0 0 7 (continued) Page 34 GAO/IMTEC91-3 NASA’s Archives Are Missing Valuable Data Appendix IV Holdinga Prom hfajor Missions Ad&d by the N!3SDC Quantity of holdings by storaqe medium. Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tapes Paper Film Aurora ESRO 1A 1o/3/68 0 0 1 TETR 2 Test and Training Satellite 2 (TETR B) 11/a/68 0 0 ___-. 14 Proneer 9 Pioneer D 11;8;68 14 53 37 HEOS 1 HEOS A 1215168 12 3 6 OAO 2 Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 (OAO A2) 1217168 427 0 125 ESSA 8 TOS F 12/l 5168 0 0 22 OS0 5 Orbrting Solar Observatory 5 (OS0 F) l/22/69 499 0 731 ISIS 1 ISIS A l/30/69 150 14 6.274 Mariner 6 Mariner 6 2/25/69 16 0 572 ESSA 9 TOS G 2;26;69 0 0 14 Apollo 9 Apollo 9 313169 0 0 0 Mariner 7 Mariner Mars 698 3127169 21 0 894 NIMBUS 3 Nimbus 82 4/l 4;69 1,545 12 10,413 OGO 6 Orbiting Geophysrcal Observatory 6 (OGO F) 615169 516 0 186 IMP-G Interplanetary Monrtoring Platform G (IMP 5, Explorer 41) 6121169 648 28 30 Biosatellrte 3 Biosatellrte D 6/29i69 0 0 2 Apollo 11 Apollo 11 7/ 16169 25 1 6,515 PAC-A Package Attitude Control 8/9/69 0 0 9 OS0 6 Orbiting Solar Observatory 6 8 /g/69 84 0 28 ATS 5 Application Technolow Satellite 5 8/l 2/69 320 0 55 Boreas ESRO 18 10/l/69 0 0 1 GRS-A German Research Satellite A (AZUR) 11/a/69 60 0 5 ADOIIO12 1~ ADOIIO 12 1l/14/69 1.970 1 21,671 ITOS 1 TIROS M 1;23;70 0 0 4 SERT 2 Space Electric Rocket Test 2 214170 0 0 12 TOP0 1 TOP0 1 4l8J70 0 0 1 NIMBUS 4 Nimbus 4 4/8/70 3,278 0 12,667 Apollo 13 Apollo 13 4/l l/70 2 1 2,241 OF0 1 Orbiting Frog Otolith 11/s/70 0 0 0 RMS Radiation Meteorold Satellite 11/g/70 0 0 1 NOAA 1 ITOS A 12/l l/70 0 0 2 SAS-A Small Astronomy Satellite A 12/l 2170 352 0 15 ADOIIO 14 Apollo 14 t/31/71 6 1 28,285 IMP-I Interplanetary Monitoring Platform I (Explorer 43) 3/13/71 286 11 1,881 San Marco 3 San Marco 3 4/24/7 1 0 0 7 ISIS 2 ISIS 2 4/31/71 273 54 6.028 Mariner 9 Manner 9 5;30/71 50 85 44,531 SOLRAD 10 Explorer 44 mm 0 0 21 Apollo 15 Apollo 15 7126J7 1 2,072 4 80.436 (conttnued) Page 36 GAO/IMTlW913 NASA’s Archives Are Missing Valuable Data Appendix IV HoWnga Prom Major Mhions Archived by the NSSDC Quantity of holdings by storaqe medium’ Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tapes Paper Film Apollo 15 Apollo 15 Subsatellite SUBST B/4/71 737 0 74 EOLE 1 CAS A B/16/71 1 0 4 TETR 4 Test and Trarnrng Satellite 4 g/29/7 1 0 0 2 OS0 7 Orbiting Solar Observatory 7 9/29/7 1 134 1 193 S-Cubed A Small Screntrfic Satellite A (Explorer 45) 11/15/71 25,072 0 1.391 Ariel 4 Ariel 4 12/l l/71 1,904 0 6 HEOS 2 HEOS 2 l/31/72 15 0 3 Pioneer 10 Pioneer F 313172 317 5 517 TD 1A TD 1 3/l 2/72 3 0 7 ADOIIO 16 Apollo 16 4/16/72 2,110 1 90,121 Apollo 16 Apollo 16 Subsatellrte SUBST 4124172 95 0 8 LANDSAT 1 Earth Resources Technology Satellite A 7123172 0 0 20 Explorer 46 Meteorotd Technology Satellite B/l 3172 0 0 6 OAO 3 Orbiting Astronomrcal Observatory 3 (Copernicus) 8121I72 50 145 198 IMP-H Interplanetary Monitoring Platform H (Explorer 47) g/22/72 886 26 1,559 NOAA 2 ITOS D 1O/l 5172 0 0 7 SAS-B Small Astronomy ’ Satellite B (Explorer 48) 1l/16/72 1 1 1,743 SRO 4 ESR04 1l/21/72 3 0 4 Apollo 17 Apollo 17 1217172 8 0 86,242 NIMBUS 5 Nimbus E 12/l l/72 3,151 0 47 279 Aeros Aeros 12/l 6;72 2 0 18 Skylab CSM 3 Skylab Command and Service Module 3 lt/t6/73 0 0 4,800 AE-C Atmosphere Explorer C (Explorer 51) 12116173 869 0 127 San Marco 4 San Marco C2 2/18/74 0 0 14 SMS 1 Synchronous Meteorological Satellite 1 5/ 17174 6,561 0 4,343 ATS 6 Application Technology Satellite 6 5130174 1,186 1 1,693 Hawkeye lnjun F (Explorer 52) 613174 0 0 14 Aeros 2 Aeros B 7/ 16174 8 0 7 ANS Astronomical Netherlands Satellite a/30/74 2 0 8 UK5 United Kingdom 5 to/1 5/74 2 0 18 (continued) Page 36 GAO/IMTEG913 NASA’s Archivea Are hfissii Valuable Data Appendix IV Holdings Prom ?&jor Missiona Archived by the NSSDC Quantity of holdings by storage medium. Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tapes Paper Film NOAA 4 ITOS G 11II1 5174 -I 0 0 14 Hellos-A Helios 1 12/l o/74 177 1 8.5 _- LANDSAT 2 Earth Resources Technology Satellite B 1;22;75 0 0 15 SMS 2 Synchronous Meteorologrcal Satellite 2 216175 6,392 0 3.823 GEOS 3 Geodetic Explorer 3 419175 160 0 1S SAX Small Astronomy Satellite C (Explorer 53) 5;7;75 0 24 ‘- 3,019 NIMBUS 6 Nimbus F 6/l 2175 1,058 0 48,538 OS0 8 Orbiting Solar Observatory 8 6121175 660 1 213 ASTP-Apollo Apollo Soyuz Test Project 7/l 5175 4 0 3,633 COS-B Cosmrc Ray Satellite B 0/g/75 0 0 0 Viking 1 Viking B a/20/75 668 7 56,785 Viking 2 Viking A g/9/75 520 1 37,486 AE-D Atmosphere Explorer D (Explorer 54) 10/6/75 44 0 3 GOES 1 Geostationary Envrronmental Satellite A 1O/l 6175 5,289 0 2,934 AE-E Atmosphere Explorer E (Explorer 55) 11/20/75 886 0 29 Helios-B Helios 2 l/15/76 98 1 65 LAGEOS Laser Geodetic Satellite 514176 115 0 0 NOAA 5 ITOS H 7129176 0 0 12 GEOS/ESA GEOS 1 4120177 22 0 14 GOES 2 Geostatronary Environmental Satellite B S/l 6177 2,957 0 103 GMS Geostationary Meteorological Satellite 7114177 0 0 1 HEAO 1 High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1 (HEAO A) S/l 2177 186 0 113 Voyager _ - 2 Mariner Jupiter/Saturn B B/20/77 385 1 68,466 Voyager 1 Mariner Jupiter/Saturn A 9/5;77 409 1 83,666 ISEE 1 International Sun Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE A) 1O/22/77 629 2 9,435 ISEE 2 lnternatronal Sun Earth Exdorer 2 (ISEE 8) 1O/22/77 267 0 2.120 METEOSAT 1 Meteorological Satellite A 11/23/77 0 0 0 IUE International Ultraviolet Explorer 1/ 26178 1,460 0 55,501 LANDSAT 3 Earth Resources Technology Satellite C 315178 0 0 6 HCMM Heat Capacity Mapping Mission 4126178 2,678 0 158,830 Pioneer Venus 1 Pioneer Venus Orbiter 5/20/78 411 4 5,580 GOES 3 Geostationary Environmental Satellite C 6/16/78 619 0 841 SEASAT 1 Ocean Dynamics Satellite A (SEASAT A) 6/26/78 19 0 3 GEOS-B/ESA GEOS 2 7/l 4178 15 0 28 Proneer Venus 2 Pioneer Venus 78 8/8/78 31 2 8 SEE 3 International Sun Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE C) 01; 2;78 181 0 6,685 CAMEO Chemrcally Active Materials Ejected in Orbit i o/24/78 0 0 0 TIROS-N Television Infrared Observation Satellite N 1Of 13178 1 0 3 NIMBUS 7 Nimbus G 1O/24/78 13,595 0 88,796 (contrnued) Page 37 GAo/lMTJZG913 NASA’s Archives Are ~+&&IJJ Valuable Data AppendixIV HoldhqpPromb@jorMl~Io~Archtndby the NSSDC Quantity of holdings by Storage medium’ Mission name Alternate name(s) Launch date Tapes Paper Film HEAO 2 High Energy Astronomy Observatory 2 (HEAO B, Einstein) l l/13/78 23 0 22 SAGE Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Expenment (AEM B) 2/ 18179 235 0 2 UK 6 Anel6 612179 0 1 3 NOAA 6 NOAA A 6/27/79 0 0 0 HEAO 3 High Energy Astronomy Observatory 3 (HEAO C) 9/20/79 33 0 1 MAGSAT Global Magnetic Survey Mission (AEM C) 1O/36/79 228 0 65 SMM Solar Maximum Mission 2/14/8O 7 0 232 GOES 4 Geostationary Environmental Satellite D 9/9/8fJ 0 0 0 GOES 5 Geostationary Environmental Satellite E 5/22/8l 17 0 0 DE2 Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE B) 0/3/a 1 4 0 41 DE 1 Dynamics Explorer 1 (DE A) 0/3/a 1 8 0 50 SME Solar Mesosphere Explorer 1O/6/81 131 0 0 STS 2/OSTA- 1 Office of Space and Terrestrial Application 1 1l/12/81 11 0 2,200 STS 3/OSS-1 Shuttle OFT 3 3122182 0 0 2,582 IRAS Infrared Astronomical Satellite l/25/83 165 0 1,178 NOAA 8 NOAA E 3128183 0 0 0 GOES 6 Geostationary Environmental Satellite F 4128183 81 0 0 EXOSAT European X-Ray Observatory Satellite 5126183 1 0 0 Spacelab 1 Spacelab 1 (STS9) 1 l/28/83 0 0 0 AMPTE/CCEb Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer 8/16/84 78 0 63,597 AMPTE/IRM AMPTE/lon Release Module 8116184 194 0 4 AMPTEIUKS AMPTE/United Kingdom Subsatellite 8/16/84 0 0 1 ERBS Earth Radiation Budget Satellite 1o/5/84 277 5 0 STS-41 G Shuttle Imaging Radar B (SIR B) 1o/5/84 173 0 36,298 NOAA 9 NOAA F 12/12/84 120 2 0 Spacelab 3 STS-51 B 4/29/85 23 0 0 PDP Plasma Diagnostic Package 7129185 0 0 0 Spacelab 2 STS-51 F 7lW85 13 50 2,924 Spacelab D-l STS-61 A 1o/30/85 0 0 0 NOAA 10 NOAA G 9/l 7186 0 0 0 GOES 7 Geostationarv Environmental Satellite H 2/26/87 0 0 0 aThe numbers in these columns represent identifiable record holdings on three storage media--tape. paper, and film. Units for tape and paper usually represent individual magnetic tapes or paper docu- ments. Film units may be different, depending on the type of film used. For example, mtssions using 1003 reels of microfilm are measured in number of reels. Those using other types of stnp film, of various wrdths. are measured in linear feet of film. Slides or other individually held film frames, are measured in number of slides or frames. Microfiche are measured in number of microfiche cards. The holdings shown do not include ERBS and NC44 9 data stored on 19 optical disks. bCharge Composition Explorer. Page 38 GAO/lMlEC@l% NASA% Arches Are Mlaslng Valuable Data Ppe 6% Missions With No Data Archived by the NSSDC Table V.l: Missions Without Any Data Possible location of any Mission Launch date dataa Apollo 9 313169 Unknown Application Technology Satellite 4 (ATS 4) 8/10/68 Unknown Biosatellite 1 12/l 4166 Unrversrty of New Mexrco Biosatellite 2 g/7/67 Unknown Biosatellrte 3 6129169 Unknown Gemini 4 6/3/85 EROS Data Center Gemini 11 9/l 2166 EROS Data Center Gemrnr 12 11/l l/66 EROS Data Center Hawkeye 613174 Unrversity of Iowa Orbrting Frog Otolith 1 (OF0 1) 11/9/70 Unknown Plasma Diagnostic Package (PDP) 7/29/85 University of Iowa Pioneer 4 313159 Unknown Pioneer 3 1216158 Unknown Skylab Command and Service Module 1 5125173 Unknown (CSM 1) Skylab Command and Service Module 2 7/28/73 Unknown (CSM 2) Skylab Command and Service Module 3 1l/16/73 Unknown (CSM 3) Space Transportation Systems S/Spacelab 1 1l/28/83 Unknown Space Transportation System 61 A/Spacelab 10/30/85 Unknown D-l “According to an NSSDC official, for locations showing “unknown”, it is likely that these data are betng held by the principal investigator or co-investigator. However, NSSDC IS unaware of the exact location of these data. Page 39 GAO,TtlTK%lS NASA’s Archives Are Midng Valuable Data NASA Mladonr With No Data Archived by the NSSDC Table V.2: Mirsions Without Digital Data Storage media Posrible location of Mission Launch date Paper Film digital data Air Densrty Explorer A (AD-A) 12/19/63 0 7 Unknown Air Densitv Explorer B (AD-B) 1l/21/64 0 28 Unknown Air Density Explorer C (AD-C) a/0/68 0 18 Unknown Atmosphere Explorer A (AE-A) 413163 0 7 Unknown Application Technology Satellite 3 (ATS 3) 1l/5/67 5 86 Unknown Explorer 9 2/l 6161 0 4 Unknown Explorer 8 11/3/60 0 6 Unknown Gemini 10 7/l 8166 0 1 EROS Data Center Gemini 7 1214165 0 1 EROS Data Center Gemini 5 8/21 I65 0 1 EROS Data Center ITOS 1 l/23/70 0 4 NOAA Orbrting Solar Observatory 2 (OS0 2) 213~65 0 10 Unknown Explorer 10 3125161 0 3 Unknown Pioneer 1 10/11/58 0, 6 Unknown Pioneer 5 3/11/60 2,000 39 Unknown Radio Astronomy Explorer A (RAE-A) 7/4/m 0 2,499 Unknown Small Astronomy Satellite C (SAX) 5l7l75 24 3,019 Unknown Space Transportation System 3/0ffice of Space Science 1 (STS-S/OSS-1) 3122102 0 2,582 Unknown Survevor 1 5130166 0 11,540 Unknown Page 40 GAO/IMTEGBl% NASA’s Archbee Are Missing Valuable Data Ppe Gzon and Status of Data for Cumently Important Missions Atmospheric Explorers (AE)-higher resolution data held by principal investigators. Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers (AMPI’E)-some AMPT,E/Charge Composition Explorer (CCE) higher resolution data held by AMPLE Science Data Center at John Hopkins University. 05s~ and NSSDC officials told us that although CODMAC has identified AMPTE/Ion Release Module (IRM) and AMPTE United Kingdom Subsatellite (UKS) as “currently important scientific missions,” NASA and NSSDC are not responsible for archiving data from these missions. However, NSSDCis archiving many AMPTE/IRM data. Dynamic Explorers (DE)-most data held by principal investigators, being processed before submission to NSSDC. Interplanetary Monitoring Platform (IMP)-limited unique IMP data held by principal investigators, key data in processing for submission to NSSDC. International Sun Earth Explorers (ISEE)-most data held by principal investigators, being processed for submission to NSSDC. Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO)-all data held by principal investigators. Solar Maximum Mission (SMM)-most data at Goddard’s SMM Data Analysis Center (DAC) for public access; other data readied for submis- sion to DAC; copies of SMM/DAC data will be archived by the NSSDC. Mariner-data held by principal investigators, some data at JPL. Pioneer-data held by principal investigators; NASA’S Ames Research Center is working with investigators on data archival plans. Pioneer Venus-data held by principal investigators; NASA'S Ames Space Center is working with investigators on data archival plans. Viking-data held by principal investigators, some data at JPL. Infrared data copied on CD-ROM optical disks (Compact Disk Read Only Memory). Voyager-data held by principal investigators, JPL’S Planetary Data System. Most imaging data on CD-ROMs. Page 41 GAO/lMTEG913 NASA’8 Archlvea Are Missing Valuable Data LocatIon and Stat-am of Data for Currently important Mhions High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-most data from HEAO 1 and 3 held by principal investigators. Most data from HEAO B held by the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory. Infrared Astronomical Satellite (II&S)-most data at NSSDC.According to the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) officials, the full set of IRAS data-including original and archival data, is also stored at IPAC at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, in the Netherlands at University of Groningen and Sterrewach Huygens Laboratorium at the University of Leiden, and in the United Kingdom by the IRAS Post Mission Analysis Facility at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE)-most data at NSSDC. Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS)-most data at Langley Research Center; data are routinely submitted to NSSLKJ archive. * Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM)-all digitized data at NSSDC. Many raw data still unprocessed. Nimbus-7-most data at NSDC, selected data held by Goddard for distri- bution to investigators in coordination with NSSDC. Seasat-all data at JPL. Solar Mesosphere Explorer (SME)-most data at NSSDC, balance held by the University of Colorado. Shuttle Imaging Radar B (SIR-B)--in compliance with NASA instructions, NSSDC is not distributing SIR-B data to users. In a form letter to scientists requesting SIR-B data, NSSDC notes that in compliance with the congres- sional decision after a reassessment of the Land Remote Sensing Com- mercialization Act of 1984, “SIR-B data will be distributed by a private firm yet to be identified.” Page 42 GAO/lMTECXlS NASA’s Archivea Are bfh~ing vahable Data Appendix VII NASA Missions Without Project Data Management Plans, 1978-85 Date of Mission name launch Pioneer Venus Orbiter 5/20/78 Ocean Dynamrcs Satellite A (SEASAT 1) 6126178 Pioneer Venus 78 8/a/78 International Sun Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE 3) af 12178 Chemically Active Materials Ejected in Orbit (CAMEO) 1O/24/78 Nimbus 7 I o/24/78 High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO 2) 1 l/13/78 Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) 2/l 8179 High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO 3) g/20/79 Global Magnetic Survey Mission (MAGSAT) 10/30/79 Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) 2/l 4180 Dynamics Explorer 1 (DE 1) 8/3/81 Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE 2) 8/3/81 Solar Mesosphere Explorer (SME) 1O/6/81 Office of Space and Terrestrial Application (STS 2) 1l/12/81 * Shuttle OFT 3 (STS3/OSS-1) 3/22/82 Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS)’ l/25/83 Spacelab 1 1l/28/83 Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer (AMPTE/CCE) a/l 6184 Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) 1o/5/84 Shuttle Imaging Radar B (SIR-B) 1o/5/84 Spacelab 3 4m85 Plasma Diagnostic Package (POP) 7129185 Spacelab 2 7129185 Soacelab D-l 1O/30/85 ?-~e IRAS mission prepared, in lieu of an POMP, an agreement for archiving its data at the NSSDC Page 48 GAO/IMTEG@lS NASA’8 Ambivea Are Mhing Valuable Data Appendix VIII Status of Project Data Management Plans for - Active and Planned Missions, 198&9L Actual P:a,“u”n;f Date PDMP Missions approved Operational San Marco-D 3/l 988 211988 Magellan 4/l 989 511989 Galileo lo/l989 311990 Shu!tle Solar Backscatter Ultravfolet Instrument 1 (SBUV-1) IO/l989 --- Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) 1l/l989 6/ 1988 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) 411990 7/l 982 Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) 611990 --L: Combmed Release and Radiation Effect Satellite (CRRES) 711990 ---e Planned Astronomv Laboratory l/Broad Band X-Rav Telescope (Astro-l/BBXRT) 1990 2/1990 Space Lrfe Sciences-l (SLS-1) 1990 --- Ulysses l 1990 --- Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) 1990 --- Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Instrument 2 (SBUV-2) 1996 --- International Microgravity Laboratory 1 (IML-1) 1990 --- Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science 1 (ATLAS-l) 1991 --- Spacelab-J 1991 --- Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) 1991 --- Uoper Atmosphere Research satellite WARS) 1991 --- Laser Geodynamics Satellite II (LAGEOS II) 1991 --- Yncludes )ornt missrons with forergn governments. bGoddard News, Mixed Fleet Manifest, Vol. 36, No.3 March 1990 COSSAhas no plans to prepare an PDMP for the SSBUV. dROSAT’s PDMP IS in the signature cycle. ThusGerman mission, with NASA instruments, WIIInot be generating data for NASA unhl March 1991. Qata from thusmission will largely consist of photographs. Page 44 GAO/IbiTEC913 NASA’r Archives Are Missing Valuable Data Appendix IX Comments From the National Aeronautics and SpaceA dministration Note: GAO comments supplementing those In the report text appear at the end of this appendix. NASA Natlonal Aeronautics and Space Adrnlnlstratlon Washlngton. D C 20546 SEP 17 1990 Office of the Administrator Mr. Ralph V. Carlone Assistant Comptroller General Information Management and Technology Division United States General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548 Dear Mr. Carlone: This is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) response to the General Accounting Office (GAO) Draft Report GAO/IMTEC-90-73, entitled "Space Operations: NASA Is Not Archiving All Potentially Valuable Data,” dated August 28, 1990. Overall, the draft report presents a useful assessment of some key issues in science data management. NASA shares many of the concerns identified by GAO, has programs underway to address the majority of them, and plans to address the remainder. GAO acknowledges these plans and recognizes them in the body of the report. NASA finds the recommendations in the report to be reasonable and appropriate. The enclosure provides more specific comments and suggestions that we believe will strengthen the report and reduce possible misinterpretations. We have also provided additional information and corrections directly to the members of your staff. We appreciate the efforts of your staff to solicit and consider NASA's views through the process of the review. Sincerely, &&?L.& 3ohn E. O'Brien Assistant Deputy Administrator Enclosure Page 45 GAO-913 NASA’8 Archivea Are Missing Valuable Data Commenta From the National Aeronantks and Space AdUddStlUtlOll NASA Response To GAO Dtaft Report GAO/IlmEC-90-73 I. Executive Summary NASA agrees in general with the conclusions and recommendations, but does, however, have some concern with respect to the perspective or emphasis that is presented. For instance, the emphasis on having no data archived for 18 of the 263 major science missions launched between 1958- 1987 neglects the fact that data -is archived for 245 or 93% of the missions. Another concern is the potentially misleading title chosen to highlight the principal finding concerning scientist involvement in data archiving. "Lack of Scientists' Involvement in a Key Data Management Area" is not a completely accurate assessment. As stated, it is not consistent with the narrative supporting the assertion, nor with the facts and conclusions presented in the body of the report. Significant parts of the science user community are, in fact, vitally concerned with, and playing key roles in archiving and data management systems. In addition to the investigator working groups that play a key role in flight mission planning, steering groups have been established by the various science discipline offices to oversee and provide advice and guidance in all aspects of data management across the respective discipline programs and projects. Examples include the Planetary Science Data Steering Committee, the Science Operations Working Group for Astrophysics, the Space Physics Data Systems Steering Committee, and the Life Sciences Data Systems Steering Committee. All groups include participants from the outside research community. While there is no standing committee for Microgravity Science and Applications, a data management workshop involving members of the research community was conducted in July, 1990 and follow-on plans are being developed for an appropriate data management approach. Furthermore, the Science Advisory Panel for the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) includes representatives from the broad spectrum of Earth science users; they have been very active in EOSDIS planning to date, and will continue their active role during the course of the program. Page 46 Appendix IX Commenta Fhm the Natiod Aeronautica and Space Adminimtration r NASA recognizes user involvement as a vital element for success; we will continue to build on past experience to strengthen that involvement in all elements of data management. With the context altered above, we certainly agree with the recommendation to continue to do so. We also accept the other recommendations which we consider to See comment 1 be constructive and appropriate. II. Chapter 2 "NASA IS Not Preserving All Valuable Space Science Data” 1. In spite of the clarifications provided through footnotes to Table 2.1 on page 18 the table is still potentially misleading. The rightmost column is especially confusing with respect to terminology, perspective, and intended message. For example, Viking, which is presented as having no archival effort, has an active project to restore data under the auspices of the Planetary Data System. 2. The statement on page 22, paragraph 2, "Between 1986 to 1989, Goddard released 532,000 tapes, a large portion of which contained original data", needs to be,clarified to avoid misinterpretation. The statement is partially correct, but care should be taken to not surmise that almost half of the 1.2 million data tapes containing all of NASA's science data from 260 missions (described on page 1 of the document) were "released." In fact, 532,000 tapes were sent to the Information Processing Division's (IPD) Magnetic Tape Certification Facility for degaussing, cleaning, and recertification for reuse. However, these were comprised of a variety of production-oriented tapes, many of which would never be considered for either short-term retention or long-term archiving. Another 100,000 of these tapes were from missions such as Nimbus-7 and the Dynamics Explorers, which converted their Level 0 (raw) data to optical disks before releasing their data tapes for recertification. Many of the other tapes released are from various processing steps in the IPD data processing cycle, including data capture tapes, pre-edit tapes, edit tapes, etc., all of which contain raw data. However, the science community associated with these missions received the required Level 0 products (e.g., decommutated data tapes). The point is that of the 532,000 tapes that were released, only a small portion were for user data tapes and no tape See comment 2. was degaussed without the user's written permission. Page 47 GAO/IMTECBlS NASA% Amblvea Are Mintdng Vahable Data - Appendix IX Comments From the National Aeronautica and Space Adminbtratlon III. Appendix V - "NASA Missions With No Data Archived by the NSSDC" It is important to note that the University of Iowa is preparing the Master Science files of the entire 4 year HAWKEYE mission to be archived under special arrangements made with the NSSDC. These arrangements were initiated in 1989 with the agreement that the University of Iowa would send the complete data set for archiving all at one time. The NSSDC expects to receive this important data set by the end of this calendar year. In addition, Plasma Diagnostic Package (PDP) data is at the University of Iowa and not at an UNKNOWN location as See comment 3. specified in this appendix. IV. Appendix VII - "NASA Missions Without Project Data Management Plans" Although these missions did not have formal PDMPs, there are extensive documented arrangements fon data archiving and data access for many of these missions. For example, DE, IMP, and ISEE do have formal archiving plans and multi- year funding to carry out the completion of the data archiving. The NSSDC has nearly all levels (over 25,000 data tapes and several hundred optical disks) of NIMBUS-7 data. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is currently creating an extensive library of HEAO data on CD- See comment 4. ROMS. Page 43 GA0/xMTEc@1~ NASA’@ &&ha An lbilmlng Valuable Data Commenta F’rom the National Aeronantics and Space AdmMstration The following are GAO'S comments on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration letter dated September 17, 1990. 1. “Executive Summary” GAO Comments NASA agrees in general with the report’s conclusions and recommenda- tions, but mentions concern about our emphasis on its having no archival data for 18 of the 263 missions launched between 1958-87, believing it neglects the fact that data for 245, or 93 percent of these missions are archived. We acknowledge that some data are archived for most of NASA'S missions and worded the executive summary accordingly. However, we consider the total absence of data for 18 missions as a major loss. NASA also believes that the title we chose to highlight the scientists’ involvement in a key data management area is potentially misleading. We modified the title to more accurately reflect our finding. 2. "NASA Is Not Preserving All Valuable Space Science Data” NASA comments that table 2.1, which shows the status of archival data for currently important missions, is potentially misleading, and in the case of the Viking mission, inaccurate. The information presented in the far right column (which shows the current level of archival effort) was verified by NSSDC, and we believe it to be accurate. NSSDC has also pro- vided more information clarifying the status of archival activities presented in appendix VI. NASAsays that our statement on the release (destruction or reuse) of 632,000 tape should be clarified to show that these tapes are not included in the 1.2 million data tapes kept in data storage facilities. We have clarified our statement in a footnote explaining that the 532,000 tapes are not part of the 1.2 million tapes in NASA'S storage facilities. According to NASA, (1) only a small portion of the 632,000 tapes released by TSSF contained original space science data, and (2) no tapes were released without the user’s written permission. We disagree. Even if we exclude the 100,000 tapes from the Nimbus-7 and the Dynamics Explorer missions and an additional 180,000 tapes containing interme- diate data not identified with a specific mission, between 1986-89 God- dard released over 200,000 tapes containing original data. Page 49 GAO/IMTEC@l4 NASA’r Archivea Are Mluing Valuable Data Appendix IX Commentu From the National Aeronautits and Space Admtnhtmtlon Further, the TSSF tape inventory data base does not provide enough information on the type of data. Second, there is a discrepancy in God- dard’s tape release statistics. According to Goddard’s initial estimates, between 1986-89 NASA released over 590,000 tapes. However, in June 1990, in response to our request to identify these tapes by spacecraft and type of data, Goddard’s estimate of tapes released during this period was 67,000 less than the initial count. Regardless of the exact number of tapes involved, we believe Goddard released at least 200,000 tapes containing original data, and these tapes were released without ensuring that NSSDC had archived the analyzed data. NASA states that no tape was released without the user’s written permis- sion. While we agree that TSSF obtained the signatures of Goddard offi- cials responsible for these tapes, this does not ensure that these data were analyzed and archived at NSDC. 3. “NASA Missions With No Data Archived by the NSSDC” * NASApointed out that the University of Iowa is archiving data from the Hawkeye mission and from the Plasma Diagnostic package instruments. We modified appendix V to reflect these efforts. 4. “NASA Missions Without Project Data Management Plans” NASA comments that while many pre-1985 missions did not prepare formal PDMPS, several had extensive documented arrangements for data archiving and access. We are aware that each NASA mission prepares voluminous reports and plans for the acquisition, processing, analysis, and distribution of mission data. However, we reaffirm our conviction that the lack of formal PDMPS is one reason why data from many mis- sions were not archived. Without the PDMP, there is no single mission document that outlines plans for data analysis, dissemination, archiving, and the destruction of original data. Page 50 GAO/IMTEGB~~ NASA% Archives Are Missing Valuable Dar.? Appendix X Major Contributors to This Report Ronald W. Beers, Assistant Director Information Mirko J. Dolak, Evaluator-in-Charge Management and David T. Schwartz, Evaluator Kurt A. Burgeson, Evaluator Tech&logy Division, Dennis L. O’Connor, Reports Analyst Washington, D.C. Allan Roberts, Regional Assignment Manager Los Angeles Regional Jeffrey N. Webster, Evaluator Office (610606) Page 51 GAopmEcsl3 NASA’s Archho Are F&sing Valuable Data . ib . Ordering Information The first five copies of each GAO report are free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accom- panied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 275-6241. . United States First-Class Maii General Accounting Offke Postage & Fees Paid Washington, D.C. 20548 GAO I Permit No. GlOO Official Business Penalty for Private Use $300
Space Operations: NASA Is Not Archiving All Potentially Valuable Data
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-11-02.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)