DOCUMENT RESUME 02740 - [A1852872] More Emphasis Needed on Data Analysis Phase of Space Science Programs. PSAD--77-114; B-133394. June 27, 1977. 17 pp. + 4 appendices (24 pp.). Report to the Congress; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General. Issue Area: Science and Technology: Management and oversight of Programs (2004); Federal Procurement of Goods and Services (1900). Contact: Procurement and Systems Acquisition Div. Budget Function: General Science, Space, and Technology: Space Science, Applications, and Technology (254). Organizaticn Concerned: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Congressional Relevance: House Committee on Science and Technology; Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Congress. Authority: National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (P.L. 85-568; 72 Stat. 426). Scientific data acquired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) space programs are not always promptly made available to the scientific community for further analysis and maximum benefit to the United States. Findings/Conclusions: The National Space Science Data Center has problems acquiring data promptly because some principal investigators fail to submit their data. actors contributing to late data or data not received are: contracts and written agreements which required investigators to submit data were not enforced; too little money and time were available to investigators for data analysis; and the Center was understaffed in relation to its mission. Recommendations: The Administrator of NASA should direct the Associate Administrator for Space Science to enforce the contracts and in-house agreements requiring investigators to submit data to the Center in order to maintain a schedule showinq when investigators are expected to submit data from their experiments and to set up a system showing which experiments should receive priority attention at the Center. The Administrator should develop more realistic estimates of funds and time necessary to adequately support investigators' data analysis and assign certain data acquisition duties to project scientists. When evaluating NASA's program content and budget requests, the Congress should examine the adequacy of NASA's allocation of resources between gathering space science data and analyzing it. (Author/SC) N- 0 REPORT TO THE CONGRESS :sO ' BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL '>'.': OF THE UNITED STATES More Emphasis Needed On Data Analysis Phase Of Space Science Programs National Aeronautics and Space Administration Scientific data acquired from NASA's space programs is not always promptly made avail- able to the scientific community for further analysis and maximum benefit to the Nation. The Congress should examine the adequacy of NASA's allocation of resources betweer, gathering space science data and analyzing it. PSAD-77-114 JUNE 27, 1977 COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITe IrrAT - WAHINTON, 3.C. B-133394 To the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives This report discusses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's upport of investigator' postlaunch data analysis efforts on space science experiments and im- provements needed in making this data available to other members of the scientific community for further analysis. This review is a follow-on to a survey in which we found that data on a number of successfully launched experi- ments had not been submitted to the National Space Science Data Center as required. Our review was made pursuant to the Budget and Account- ing Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and Audit- ing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67). We are sending copies of this report to the Director, Office of Management and Budget, and to the Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Comptroller General of the United States COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S MORE EMPHASIS NEEDED ON REPORT TO THE CONGRESS DATA ANALYSIS PHASE OF SPACE SCIENCE PROGRAMS National Aeronautics and Space Administration DIG EST When evaluating the National Aerorautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) program content and budget requests, the Congress should examine the adequacy of NASA's allocation of resources between gathering space science data and analyz- ing it. Greater emphasis is needed during the data analysis phase of a program to obtain the maximum scientific benefit from the data ob- tained. BACKGROUND NASA is responsible for developing and operating spacecraft to gather data on phenomena in space. It has invested billions of dollars on launch vehicles and satellites which transmit large quantities of space science data to Earth. Such oata should increase our knowledge and further scientific exploration into such areas as the history of the universe. physics of the stars, and the search for life and other cultures. NASA has structured its space science program primarily around individual scientists who are competitively selected from within NASA or elsewhere to carry out investigations. It enters into contracts or agreements with these scientists to do required work. These scien- tists, usually referred to as principal in- vestigators, actively participate with NASA from the experiment's inception through the various operations' phases until the primary data analysis is completed and the processed or reduced data is placed in NASA storage. Generally, the first step of an analysis is to receive from the satellite raw data which NASA gives to the principal investigator. The in- vestigators change the raw data to reduced or processed data principally by compacting, editing, correcting, and merging operations. The reduced data provides the base from which other indepth studies can be done. curLSt. Upon rrnmovl, the report i PSAD-77-114 covr date hould be noted hereon. NASA policy requires the principal investigators to publish their findings as soon as practicable and make the reduced data records available for analysis by others. The National Space Science Data Center is NASA's primary facility for acquiring and disseminating space science data to be nalyzed by scientists other than the principal investigators and their coworkers. People using the Center are generally pleased with the quality of the data available there and the services provided. There is some concern, however, about the time it takes the principal investigators to submit reduced data to the Center for use by others. WHY DATA IS NOT BEING SUBMITTFD TO THE CENTER SOON ENOUGH The Center has problems acquiring data promptly because some principal investigators fail to submit their data. This happens partly because of insufficient funding and the time allowed for their analyses. As a result, other investigators must either cancel or delay their work with this data or obtain it directly from the principal investigator or NASA field centers. Data on 559 space science experiments, during 1966-73, should have been submitted to the Center by the time of GAO's review. The Center had not received data on 208 (37 percent) of these experi- ments; data has been submitted on the remaining 351 (63 percent). Also, based on the Center's ceneral criteria of acquiring init-al data within 2 years after launch, data from 165 (47 percent) of the 351 experiments was late by 6 months or more. However, GAO could not readily deter- mine if the data for each experiment was complete. Factors contributing to late data or data not received are: -- Contracts and written agreements which re- quired investigators to submit data were not enforced. (See pp. 6 to 8.) --Too little money and time were available to investigators for data analysis. (See pp. 11 to 13.) ii --The Center was understaffed in relation to its mission. (See p. 13 to 16.) Center managers do not keep a schedule showing when investigators are expected to submit data from their experiments (see p. 7) and have pro- vided little overall criteria for assigning priorities to the acquisition of this data. (See pp. 8 to 10.) An alternative to increasing the Center's data acquisition staff is to expand the roles and responsibilities of NASA's space science project scientists to include data acquisition for the Center. They are already responsible for managing the scientific aspects of the projects and should be familiar with the data. RECOMMENDATIONS The Administrator of NASA should: -- Direct the Associate Administrator for Space Science to enforce the contracts and in-house agreements requiring investigators to submit data to the Center. (See p. 10.) -- Direct the Associate Administrator for Space Science to maintain a schedule showing when investigators are expected to submit data from their experiments and to set up a system showing which experiments should receive prior- ity attention at the Center. (See p. 10.) -- Develop more realistic estimates of funds and time necessary to adequately support investiga- tors' data analysis. (See p. 16.) -- Assign certain data acquisition duties to proj- ect scientists. (See p. 16.) NASA agrees with GAO's recommendations and lists a number of corrective actions it plans to make. (See app. I.) Tear Sh"t ~ ~ T~~~~maz_~b~3~ ~ ~ 1 CG n t e n t s DIGEST i CHAPTER INTRODUCTION 1 Organization and management 2 Review objectives and scope 3 2 SPACE SCIENCE DATA NOT BEING ACQUIRED BY THE CENTER IN A TIMELY MANNER 5 Late or nonsubmissions of data reduce the Center's effectiveness 5 Need to enforce the require- ment for submission of data by principal investigators 6 Uniform criteria for assigning priority codes should be established 8 Recommendations for NASA Administrator 10 3 NEED TO INCREASE DATA AVAILABILITY FOR FOLLOW-ON ANALYSIS 11 Initial project office funding of principal investigator data analysis for more than 1 or 2 years should be considered 11 Need for a better division of responsibility between project and acquisition scientists 13 Recommenda'' s for NASA Administ 16 Recommende to the Congress 17 Agency comments 17 Page APPENDIX ! Comments dated March 1, 1977, from the Associate Administrator, Office of Space Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration 18 II Results of U.S. General Accounting Office Survey of Space Science Investigations 25 III Results of U.S. General Accounting Office Survey of Requesters of Data From the National Space Science Data Center 34 IV Principal officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration responsible for activities discussed in this report 40 ABBREVIATIONS GAO General Accounting Office NASA National Aeronautics and Space Adminis- tration CHATER 1 INTRODUCTION The National Aercnautics and Space Administration (NASA)--established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (Public Law 85-568, 72 stat. 426)-- in responsible for arranging for the scientific community's participation in panning scientific measurenments and ob- servations to be male through use of aeronautical and space vehicles, and conducting or arranging for the conduct of such measurements and observations. NASA is also re- sponsible for providing the widest practicable and appro- priate dissemi-ation of information concerning its activi- ties and results. NASA's January 7, 1967, Policy Directive 8030.3 states its policy regarding space science flight experi- ments. It provides, in part, that NASA shall rely heavily on individu'al scientists in the United States (in and out of Government) to carry out complete investigations by (1) conceiving specific investigations; (2) developing, when appropriate. the instrumentation for the investigation: (3) participating actively, whenever possible, in the actual conduct of the investigation; (4) reducing 1/ and analyzing the data obtained; and (5) publishing their-findings as soon as practicable and making the reduced data records available on a timely basis for use by others. Under this policy the investigator dedicates many years to his investigation. For example, the prelaunch activities on the Orbiting Solar Observatory launched in 1975 took over 6 years and involved the design, development, and integration of the experiments into the satellite for launch. The post- launch data analysis activity generally lasts an additional 2 or more years. The selection of investigations begins once NASA has established a particular space science program. First, an Announcement of Opportunity is wi ely disseminated to interested scientific investigators. The announcement 1/Generally, the first step of any analysis effort is to reduce the raw data. This typically includes compacting, editing, correcting, and merging operations. The re- duced data should contain the basic information obtained from the experiment needed to independently analyze the data. generally does not specify the investigations to be proposed, but solicits ideas which contribute to broad program ob- jectives. According to NASA, the proposals received are distinctive and innovative. They are screened and compet- itively selected. NASA field installations are assigned project manage- ment responsibilities for these investigations. Contracts are negotiated between the investigator's institution and the field installation or, in the case of foreign irvesti- gators, written agreements are negotiated with the sponsor- ing governmental agency in that country. These contracts and agreements specify the responsibility of the investi- gator (i.e.. principal investigator) in developing the investigation to be launched, and for the postlaunch data reduction, analysis, and delivery of reduced data records and necessary documentation to the National Space Science Data Center (Center) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (Goddard). The Center, established in 1964, has a mission to provide for the dissemination and analysis f space science data beyond that provided by the principal investigators. Consequently, it is responsible for the acquisition, or- ganization. storage. retrieval, announcement, and dissem- ination of the scientific data obtained from satellites. sounding rocket probes, high altitude aircraft and balloons. The schedule for delivery of data to the Center is negotiated between the investigator's institution and the cognizant NASA field installation. Experiments are generally designed to operate 1 r more years during which time data is being relayed to Earth. Center guidelines state that a typical time interval for the investigator to submit data received during the first 6 months of the experiment has been 2 years after launch. Data received during the next 6-month period is to be furnished to the Center within 2-1/2 years after launch and so forth. Organization and management The Associate Administrator, Office of Space Science, is responsible for te overall direction of the Center through the Director, Goddard Space Flight Center. Indi- vidual Headquarters program directors are responsible for managing the data reduction, primary analysis, and delivery of reduced data records to the Center from space science flight experiments under their auspices. The Center is primarily a contractor-operated facility, staffed with about 82 contractor and 14 civil service person- nel. The civil service staff is responsible for overall 2 management and direction, as well as acquiring appropriate data from the investigators and maintaining n interface with the scientific community. The contractor is responsible for the development and operation of the Center's automated information system. which includes computers and related equipment needed to process, store, and retrieve data for which the Center is accountable. The contractor is also responsible for process- ing and completing all data requests the Center receives. The Center's fiscal year 1976 operational costs were $1,734,500. Review objectives and scope This report presents our observations on problems involved in the submission of processed space science data to the Center. Our review objective was to determine why reduced data was either not submitted to the Center or was submitted late. We also did limited work to determine the adequacy and usefulness of data and services provided by the Center. Our review was made at the Center, Greennelt, Maryland, and at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. We interviewed NASA officials, examined records and reports, and sent questionnaires to scientists in the United States and other countries. One questionnaire was sent to investigators, primarily principal investigators who participated in NASA space missions launched before July 1,. 1973. and were responsible for submitting data to the Center. These investigators at the time of our review had had sufficient time to meet the Center's general criteria of submitting their initial data 2 years after launch. This questionnaire requested information on such areas as (1) the adequacy of funding and support for data analysis, (2) the investigators' willingness to submit data and/or problems hindering the suomission of data to the Center. and (3) possible improvements in the data analysis effort and services provided by the Center. Another questionnaire was sent to foreign and U.S. persons whose requests for data were filled by the Center during the period January 1,. 1974, through April 30, 1975. In this questionnaire we sought opinions on the adequacy and usefulness of data and services provided by the Center and ways the Center might be more useful and responsive to the scientific community. 3 The quer ionnaires were mailed to 262 investigators and 473 requesters. We receivea responses from 198 (75 percent' of the investigators and 392 (83 percent) of the requesters. Results of the questionnaire sent to the principal investigators are included as appendix II, The results of the questionnaire sent to requesters are included as appendix III. 4 CHPTER 2 SPACE SCIENCE DATA NOT BEING ACQUIRED BY THE CENTER IN A TIMELY MANNER NASA has invested billions of dollars on launch vehicles and satellites including the scientific instru- ments which have transmitted large quantities of space science data back to Earth in the conduct of experimental investigations. Although information to readily determine NASA's total investment was not available, the following examples illustrate the growing cost of such experiments. The Orbiting Solar Observatory launched in February 1965 contained 10 experiments costing an average of $400,000. A later satellite in this series was launched in 1975 with seven experiments at an average cost estimated at about $2 million. Further, the four experiments selected for the High Energy Astronomy Observatory to be launched in 1977 have been estimated to cost an average of about $7.1 million. The increasing costs of developing space science experiments limits opportunities for investigators to participate as principal investigators on the experiments. Also, the cost is too expensive and the effort too detailed to merit repeating the principal investigator's work in changing raw data (i.e., data as returned from an experiment) to reduced data. Therefore, NASA policy requires the princi- pal investigators to publish their findings as soon as practi- cable and mke the reduced data records available on a timely basis for use by others. The Center was established as NASA's primary facility to acquire and disseminate space science data for further analysis beyond that performed by the principal investigators and their coworkers. Responses to the user questionnaire showed users to be generally pleased with data quality and the Center's service. There was, however, some concern expressed about the time it takes principal investigators to submit reduced data to the Center. LATE OR NONSUBMISSIONS OF DATA REDUCE THE CENTER S EFFECTIVENESS There were 559 space science experiments as of Novem- ber 11, 1975, launched during 1966-73, for which principal 5 investigators should have submitted reduced daca to the Center. The Center had not received data on 208 (37 percent) of these experiments; data has been submitted on the remain- ing 351 (63 percent) experiments. However, we could not readily determine the completeness of the data for each experiment. Alio, based on the Center's general criteria of acquiring data within 2 years rfter launch, data on 165 (47 percent) of the 351 experiments was 6 months or more late. The majority of respondees to the investigator question- naire said they are not reluctant to submit their data to the Center. However, approximately one-half of the respondees said they consider their late submission of the data to be a problem (to varying degrees) to other users of the data in the general scientific community. NASA officials consider the Center's mission to acquire and disseminate all data from scientific missions unattain- able in light of the limited manpower and dollar resources. They stated that NASA is currently reassessi;1 the Center's mission as a national facility to clearly def.ne its proper role in the acquisition, dissemination, and archival of space science data. This reassessment is expected to be completed and implemented by fiscal year 1978. NEED TO ENFORCE THE REQUIREMENT FOR SUBMISSION OF DATA BY PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS NASA's January 7, 1967, policy directive 8030.3 re- quires all principal investigators to prepare and submit their data and results to the Center in accordance with a schedule to be negotiated between the principal investiga- tor's institution and the project management center. The data submitted is to include background information needed to make the data usable by other scientists. Under this directive each program director within head- quarters program offices is responsible for submission of reduced data records to the Center from space science flight experiments for his program. At the same time, the NASA field installation assigned project management responsibility for these experiments is required to make sure that the con- tracts or written agreements negotiated between the principal investigators' institutions and the project management center specify these responsibilities, and that investigators on 6 these projects comply with the contracts or written agreements. The in-house NASA investigators, although not contractually bound, are required to submit data to the Center in accordance with the above policy directive. A Center official stated that NASA infrequently uses the contractual commitment to exert pressure on investigators to submit their data to the Center. He said the Center pre- fe-rs a cooperative approach in working with the investigators for the purpose of acquiring only good usable data rather than just any data to fulfill the commitnments. We believe the number of experiments for which data had not been submitted to the Center, or had been submitted late, indicates a need for stronger enforcement action by the contracting officer where a contract is used, and by NASA management when the investigator is a NASA employee. The Center leaves it up to the project office to initiate any enforcement action by the contracting officer or NA management. The only part the Center has in this procf ; is to have the acquisition scientist 1/ contact the investigator and arrange to examine the preliminary reduced data and de- termine how much, what kind, and in what format the data should be submitted. All other matters, including the funding necessary to accomplish this, are controlled by the project office. Officials in one project office said the office is mostly involved n the experiments during the hardware development stage and other phases preceding launch; afterward, their involvement ana monitoring drops off drastically. NASA offi- cials have stated that the extent to which the investigators' postlaunch data analysis efforts are monitored by the project office varies from project to project. Some are very thorough; others are not. Directive 8030.3 makes the Director of the Center responsible for compiling schedules showing the dates by which investigators on NASA flight projects should have sub- mitted reduced data records to the Center. These schedules are to be based on information obtained from the instal- lations charged with project management. This procedure 1/The Center's Data Acquisition and Analysis Branch includes scientists trained in one or more of the related scientific disciplines and is responsible for acquiring essential data from experiments in the most appropriate form for the Center. 7 is not being done for all experiments. We believe the Center should prepare and maintain delivery schedules for the data required to be submitted to the Center and coordinate followup procedures with the project management centers to make sure investigators are notified when data is not submitted according to schedule. A decision should then be made as to the appropriate course of action to be taken. NASA agrees that additional management emphasis should be placed on the postlaurzh phase and cites the establish- ment of the Orbiting Satellite Project Office in January 1974 at Goddard as one means of dealing with this issue. This office is responsible for providing project management and technical direction for selected operating satellites. NASA believes this is resulting in improved enforcement of contract requirements. We believe better coordination between the Center and the project management centers is needed to make certain that appropriate enforcement action is initiated in those cases where it is warranted. We believe a stronger enforce- ment of the investigators' contractual or in-house agreements to submit data to the Center will result in more timely sub- missions. NASA agrees. Uniform criteria for assigning priority codes shoul be established The acquisition scientists operate with minimum control or guidance from management. Each acquisition scientist determines which principal investigators to contact, how much data to collect, and the priority to assign to thL data. Basically, each scientist assigns top priority A to about five experiments for which data is nearly ready for submission or has recently been received, and which the acquisition scientist plans to give top priority attention. Priority B is assigned to about 15 other experiments on which the acquisition scientist works when time permits. The remaining experiments with potentially desirable data are placed in lower priorities. This almost automatically includes experiments in the prelaunch phase or those just recently launched. As noted above, the highest priority is assigned when data is either at the Center or is about to be submitted. The determination as to which experiments receive the top priority is made by the acquisition scientist, but there are no uniform criteria for such decisions. Justifications 8 for top priority an vary from one acquisition scientist co another. They can be based on factors such as actual or anticipated request activity for the data or simply that the investigator has indicated his willingness and/or desire to submit data. NASA officials said that the limitation of resources has forced NASA to make priority decisions that balance the cost of creating a reduced data archive against its potential use. NASA believes this approach to be cost effective since data that has been given priority for archiv- ing at the Center has permitted the Center staff to complete the data requests of 97 percent of the requesters. In our opinion, however, this is not a true measure of the Center's capability to meet the scientific community's need for data because: -- Some unfilled data requests may not have been recorded. Center personnel said a rule of thumb is that if it takes less time to complete the request than it does to fill out the request form used to record data re- quests, the form will not be completed. An example is a telephone request for data that the Center rep- resentative knows is not available at the Center. Since it would not require any processing or other effort on the representative's part, the request would not be recorded. --Additional requests might have been received from the scientific community if other data had been acquired or late data had been acquired in a more timely fashion. For example, approximately 23 percent of the respondees to our questionnaire said the Center is not their first choice as a data source. One reason cited was a desire to obtain the data sooner than it was available at the Center. --Any assessment of the cost effectiveness of NASA's selection of data for archiving at the Center should not be based only on the number of requests filled, jut should also take into consideration the amount of data at the Center that has never been requested or for which there has been only a limited number of requests. If data is to be acquired from investigators on a priority basis, we believe the Center should establish a procedure to obtain more input from the scientific com- munity, such as the National Academy of Science Space Science Board, in determining which experiments promise 9 the most desirable data. At the same time, we believe that if the acquisition scientist is to function properly, the high priorities should be assigned earlier in the data acquisition cycle so that the scientist can work more directly with the principal inveStigators in assuring that data is properly reduced and documented for timely submission to the Center. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NASA ADMINISTRATOR We recommend that the NASA Administrator direct the Associate Administrator for Space Science to: -- Enforce the contractual and in-house agreements requiring investigators to subnit data to the Center. -- Maintain a schedule showing when investigators are expected to submit data from their experiments. --Sct up a priority system to assure that acquisition scientists give appropriate attention early in the planning phases to those experiments that promise the most desirable data. The above recommended changes are not the total solution. In the following chapter we discuss some of the underlying funding and staffing problems that significantly affect, in our opinion, the accomplishment of the Center's mission. 10 CHAPTER 3 NEED TO INCREASE DATA AVAILABILITY FOR FOLLOW-ON ANALYSIS NASA, over the years, has not placed as much manage- ment emphasis on the data analysis efforts as it has on prelaunch phase, according to 77 percent of the investi- the gators responding to our questionnaire. About 80 percent of the investigators making this comment believe this has lessened the scientific accomplishment of NASA supported experiments. INITIAL PROJECT OFFICE FUNDING OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR DATA ANALYSIS FOR MORE THAN OR 2 YEARS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED Experiments on NASA space flight missions usually are funded by project management offices (at NASA field centers) from project initiation through the early data analysis effort. Shortly before launch, principal investigators submit detailed data an&''sis plans, which NASA uses to negotiate the amount of money to be provided for data analysis. Approximately one-half of the investi- gators responding to questions on their planned scope and funding of data analysis said NASA usually reduces the scope and/or funding level of their analysis plans. Some of those responding in this manner believed the reductions were not justified and that this action degraded the experiment's scientific results. A NASA official at headquarters said the investigators know what NASA's approved objectives are at the time the agreements are reached and the investigators agree that these objectives can be met within the stated funding and time constraints. He said the investigators usually plan a much greater data analysis effort than NASA believes can be justified. The responses to our questionnaire show the initial period of NASA's funding of data analysis has been approximately 1 or 2 years after launch in most cases. About 70 percent of the investigators said that this initial period was insufficient to process the data and achieve the experimental objectives. Some of the reasons cited for the inadequacy of the initially funded period for primary analysis are: -- Investigators receive more data than anticipated from experiments. 11 -- Delays in receiving data from NASA tracking and processing stations. -- Problems with the experiments' scientific instruments, spacecraft, or data reduction/analysis equipment. -- Failure to formulate an effective data reduction/ analysis plan before receipt of first data. Although principal investigators may publish the new, obvious results of space investigations within the initially funded period, indepth analysis and appropriate understand- ing of the meaning of the results ma' take up to 3 to 5 years. A 1972 NASA data management sudy showed ta~ most publica- tions containing comprehensive analysis nr -a appeared approximately 5 years after data acqu.s i Headquarters program offices may provide special budget funds for data analysis beyond the period of funding agreed to by the project office. The principal investi- gator, therefore, must submit a new proposal to NASA head- quarters for review in competition with other scientists seeking funds from the data analysis budget line item. The preparation of additional proposals requires time and money that may take away from the ongoing data analysis effort. About two-thirds of the investigators answering our questionnaire said they have had to seek additional funds for one or more of their experiments--other than funds pro- vided under the initial NASA contract--to complete their postlaunch data reduction/analysis. In the majority of cases, NASA Headquarters was the chief source of this funding. We believe NASA, based on past experience, should initially plan to provide adequate funding of the investi- gators' analysis efforts through the project office. As noted earlier, the Center's guidelines give the investi- gator 18 months from the completion of each 6-month period, during which data is received from the experiment, to submit the required data to the Center. Therefore, it seems logical that NASA should plan to fund the data analysis effort on each experiment through the project office for a minimum of 18 months beyond the expected operational life of the experiment. In May 1976 the Physica. Sciences Committee of NASA's Space Program Advisory Council reached a similar conclusion cn the planning of the data analysis effort. This Committee, at the request of the Associate Administrator for Space Science, conducted a detailed review of the policies and procedures of the Supporting Research and Technology/Data 12 Analysis Program in the Office of Space Science and concluded, in part: "* * * we also see the need for a more farsighted management of Data Analysis support. In most present flight programs, support linked to specific missions usually terminates one year after the completion of the mission; further interpretation of mission results, both by the original investigators and by other scientists, must thereafter be carried out under the [Support- ing Research and Technology]/Data Analysis Program. We urge that adequate provision for the thorough analysis of data from any mission be made in con- nection with the planning of that mission." Need for a better division of responsibility between project and acquisition scientists The Center's Data Acquisition and Analysis Branch has been staffed at about half the level considered necessary by Center management to perform its mission. Because there are not enough acquisition scientists, and those available do not devote full time to the acquisition function, they have been unable to contact all investigators to obtain data centractually required to be submitted to the Center. In 1968 NSA planned for the Center to have 30 civil service personnel, including 22 a guisition scientists, by the end of fiscal year 1972. Staffing problems and the resultant effects have ex- isted in the Data Acquisition and Analysis Branch almost since the inceptio.n of the Center. As early as September 1968 the Center was having staffing problems. At that time the Director of the Center expressed concern to Goddard man- agement that the Center has been stymied in attempting to grow to meet its mission requirements. This required assigning low priorities to the acquisition of a large amount of data. Again in July 1973, responding to the question of what impact additional reductions in civil service ceilings would have on Center operations, the Director stated in part: "The staffing of NSSDC has dropped to such a low level that it is difficult to determine the effect of further reductions. Our acquisition staff is undermanned by more than a factor of two 13 and the data continues to pour in. At one time, we both agreed that 22 acquisi- tion agents represented an adequate number to do the job. We have 8 full- time agents at the present, another is on assignment at NASA Headquarters until September 14, and still another is in- volved almost full-time in conducting radiation environment studies for the various project officec. Just the important spacecraft and experiments per agent average about 30 and 150, respectively, not to mention hundreds of other experiments which must be entered into our information system." As of October 28, 1976, the Center had 14 civil service employees including 9 acquisition scientists. Because of understaffing, the acquisition scientists have had to assume responsibility for more experiments than they can adequately manage. The result is that they cannot maintain effective contact with all the principal investigators who have commitments to submit data to the Center. On some experiments there has been little contact between the acquisition scientists and the principal investigator until data was either sub- mitted to the Center or the principal investigatorsaid he was about ready to submit data. More and more the acquisition scientist is relying on the initiative of the principal investigator to submit his data to the Center in a proper format and with proper supporting documentation. The data acquisition problems caused by understaffing take on added significance when considering that two of the acquisition scientists came to the Center with commitments to other NASA activities. One performs con- siderable work on radiation environment studies, leaving only 20 percent of his time for data acquisition. The other is committed to spending about 50 percent of his time on the space telescope program. These individuals are, however. counted as full-time staff against the Center's staff ceilings. The number of principal investigators who can be contacted is further limited b ause acquisition scientists spend, on the average, less than 50 percent of their time on acquiring, processing, and documenting space science data from investigators. Center management believes that, 14 to attract good scientists to data acquisition duties, it is necessary to permit them time to pursue independent research. To this purpose, NASA allows acquisition scientists to spend up to 40 percent of their time on research activities that focus on data products or systemi development which benefit the Center. Those acquisition scientists that have done little or no disciplinary scientific research have, according to NASA officials, generally contributed in the develop- ment of useful file and report systems for the Center. Other activities on which the acquisition scientists spent time include work in support of data requests and on special publications, career development, and sporadic assignments to NASA Headquarters and/or Center working groups. A part of the justification for having specialists acquire data for the Center is their scientific back- ground. They understand the scientific aspects of the experiment and can work with the investigators to select appropriate data for submission to the Center with adequate documentation to permit other investigators to understand and use the data. The number of experiments for which data is to be submitted to the Center is placing a heavy burden on the limited number of acquisition scientists. As shown above, the acquisition scientist has been unable to contact and work with the principal investigator on some experiments to insure adequate and timely submission of data to the Cnter. NASA officials take the position that "The Goddard Space Flight Center has been reduced in ceiling over the past several years and the whole scale of activities has been reduced," They therefore believe it is only reasonable that the Center's staffing levels also be continuously reevaluated. We believe, however, an alternative to hiring additional acquisition scientists for the Center is to expand the roles and responsibilities of NASA's space science project scientists to include the Center's data acquisi ion respon- sibilities. The current roles and functions of a project scientist, as outlined in NASA Management Instruction 7100.11 of June 20, 1975, include: 1. Managing the project's scientific aspects. 2. Being the scientific spokesman for the project and investigators. 15 3. Representing the principal investigator or team leader in their relationships with the project manager. 4. Maintaining the science integrity of the mission within the agreed time and funding constraints. 5. Maintaining cognizance of the individual as well as the overall science investigations included in the project. 6. Reviewing data analysis plans and programs to assure timely and adequate analysis of spacecraft data. 7. Assuring public dissemination of scientific results through professional groups and the public affairs office. These activities place the project scientist in a very knowledgeable and advantageous position to also carry out the data acquisition responsibilities. He is in con- tact with the investigators and should be familiar with their experiments. He has to re;iew the data analysis plans to insure timely and adequate analysis of the data. It logically follows that he should be in a position to work with the principal investigators to select appropriate data, make sure that it is sufficiently documented, and arrange for its timely submission to the Center. The acquisition scientists would still be in a posi- tion to retain the overall responsibility for data acquisi- tion in their particular disciplines. Shifting some of the acquisition responsibility to the project scientists might also allow the acquisition scientists at the Center to devote more time to compiling data and developing other data products that have proven useful to the scientific community. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NASA ADMINISTRATOR We recommend that the NASA Administrator: -- Develop more realistic project planning estimates of funds and provide the time necessary to adequately support data analysis efforts of the principal in- vestigators. --Assign certain data acquisition responsibilities to project scientists. 16 RECOMMENDATION TO THE CONGRESS NASA invests a great deal of money and effort in initiating programs that contribute to the work of many scientists and their institutions. If the United States is to obtain the full benefit of this effort, NASA must fulfill its responsibility of providing for the analysis and widespread dissemination of space science data. When evaluating NASA's program content and budget requests, the Congress should examine the adequacy of NASA's allocation of resources between gathering space science data and analyzing the data. Greater emphasis is needed during the data analysis phase of a program to obtain the maximum scientific benefit from the data obtained. AGENCY COMMENTS NASA officials agree with our recommendations. They stated in part: "As the GAO report and our own analysis indicate, the principal cause of these delays in data acquisition is the lack o enforce- ment of existing regulations such as NMI 7100.11, NPD 8030.3, and NHB 8030.6. A joint Headquarters/Goddard review [latter part of 1976 and early 1977] of the situa- tion led to a recent commitment to a new, more cost effective mode of operation of the NSSDC in which project and program scientists will have more direct responsibility for data acquisition and the establishment of priorities. They will be responsible for establishing with the Principal Investigators, data manage- ment plans and programs to assure adequate analysis of spacecraft data and timely sub- mission of data and associated documentation to the Data Center. In the future, project plans will include a schedule for data sub- mission to allow better planning and scheduling of data acquisition after launch. This new sharing of responsibility with program and project scientists will also increase the time that NSSDC staff collectively spend on data activities." 17 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington. D.C 20546 WG March 1, 1977 Retly i, Aitn ot Mr. Chester S. Daniels Aasistant Director Procurement and Systems Acquisition Division U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548 Dear Mr. Daniels: 10, 1977, Reference is made to VtASA's letter dated February entitled, which enclosed comment' on GAO's draft report Of Space "Need For More Emphasis; On Data Analysis Phase science Programs" (Coda 952104). today, there In accordance with our telephone arrangements of a restatement of the above- are enclosed three copies and ampli- mentioned February 10 comments. Clarification desirable and fication of several individual comments were such changes we deemed it to be more convenient to merge willingness into a complete restatement. Thank you for your to consider these changes. Sincerely, Walter C. Shupe Director, GAO Liaison Activitie3 Enclosure: A/S Page numbers in enclosures refer to a preliminary GAO note: draft of this report. 18 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMIISTRATION COMMENTS ON DRAFT OF REPORT TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STALES NEED FOR MORE EMPHASIS ON DATA ANALYSIS PHASE OF SPACF SCIENCE PROGRAMS (CODE 952104) The draft report indicates that the National Snace Science Data Center (NSSDC) is not completely carrying out its stated mission in acquiring and disseminating space science data for further analysis beyond that performed by the principal investigators and their co-workers. The mission to acquire and disseminate all data from scientific missions including satellites, sounding rockets, high-altitude aircraft and balloons is extremely broad. It is a goal that is unattainable in light of the limited resources both in manpower and dollars since the establishment of NSSDC. We believe the current problem lies with the failure to define the true mission rather than failure to meet an unrealistic goal. To correct this, NASA is currently reassessing the mission of NSSDC as a National facility to clearly define its roper role in the acquisition, dissemination, and archival of space science data. It is expected that this reassessment will be completed and implemented by FY 1978. Digest We believe a more proper expression of NASA's mode of operation would be to substitute the following for the final'sentence of the last paragraph 19 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I on oaae i: "NASA has structured its space science program primarily around individual scientists competitively selected to carry out complete investigations." The report highlights several continuing problems NASA has experienced in the operation of NSSDC, but does not consider the recent effo-ts to correct the problems. A review of the situation will result in a commitment to a new, more cost effective mode of operation of the NSSDC in which project and program scientists will have more direct responsibility for data acc ition and the establishment of priorities. Future project plans will in, de a schedule for data submission which will allow better planning and scheduling of data acquisition after launch. The increased emphasis on planning and sharing of responsibilities with program and project scientists will result in greatly improved operation of the NSSDC. Throughout the report the term "Center" is used to indicate NSSDC. This should be changed to eliminate any confusion between NSSDC and Goddard Space Flight Center. To provide a balanced report, we feel that a summary assessment of the responses to the two questionnaires (mentioned on pages 5 and 6) should be added. Our assessment of the statistical results indicate that NSSDC is Droviding a necessary and effective service to the scientific community. Space Science Data Not Being Acquired by NSSDC in a Timely Manner (Chapter 2) The draft report correctly documents that space science data has not been acquired in a timely manner by NSSDC. We believe that while it is most 20 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I important to make full use of data returned from each scientific mission, we must balance the cost of creating a reduced data archive vs. its potential use. Within budgetary constraints the staff of NSSDC has made this evaluation. We believe this evaluation provides a cost effective system. That is,the data which has been given priority for archival through the collective judgment of the projects and the NSSDC staff has proved sufficient to meet the data requests of all but three percent (3) of our requestors. The limitation of resources has forced NASA to make priority decisions regarding the most efficient use of resources. We agree that stronger enforcement of contractual commitments will result in more timely submissions of data. More Emphasis Needed on Data Analysis Phase of Space Science Programs (Chapter 3) Page 13. The draft report states that NASA has placed more management emphasis on the pre-launch phase of its missions than it does on the post-launch data reduction/analysis phase. We believe that NASA provides proper management attention to data analysis during the planning phase of each project and focusses its management attention on hardware develop- ment problems during the pre-launch phase of each project. We agree that additional NASA management emphasis should be placed on the post-launch phase and, in January 1974, Goddard reorganized to deal, in part, with this issue by establishing the Orbiting Satellite Project Office which is responsible for providing project management and technical direction for 21 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I selected operating satellites. The sole responsibility of this Project Office is to manage satellites in the post-launch phase. A full time contractino officer has been assigned to this activity as part of the Business Management team and strict enforcement of contract requirements is not only feasible, but steadily improving. Coordination between the NSSDC and the Orbitino Satellite P,.ject Office will identify those Principal Investigators who are delinquent in data submissions so that approoriate action may be taken. Page 17. We believe a comment is in order on the GAO statement that "The (National Soace Science Data) Center's nata Acquisition and Analvsis Branch has been staffed at about half the level considered necessary by SS)C mallaQement to perform its mission." The Goddard Space Flight Center has been reduced in ceiling over the past several years and the who: scale of activities has been reduced. It is only reasonable that the NSSDC plan also be continuously reevaluated. Page 19. We also note that the draft report states that acquisition scientists spend "much of their time on activities other than data acquisition." Data Center management believes that to attract good scientists to data acquisition, it is necessary to permit time tc pursue independent research. No scientist wants to just collect and store the data of others. It is true that up to 40% has been allotted for research activities but these activities are focussed on data product or system development which benefit NSSDC. Those acquisition scientists who have done little or no disciplinary scientific research have generally contributed in the 22 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I development of useful NSSDC systems such as the Technical Reference File, the Rocket File, Active and Planned Report, and the SIDS Report. The average breakout of time for the acquisition scientists has been as follows: a. Acquisition, processing, and documentation of space science data - 211, b. Searchino for, reading, and keywording papers and reports for the Technical Reference File - 13 (This is part of the information acquisition.) c. Preparing information on spacecraft, experiments, and data set entry into the AIM File - 13, (This part of the information acquisition and processing.) d. Work in support of data requests - 10, e. Data synthesis and analysis and professional development - 17°: f. Work on special publications - 13°' g. Work on design and implementation of NSSDC system improve- ments - 1351 Consequently, we believe the citation of 40° for research activities is misleading. That 401, includes (e)above, data synthesis anu analysis and professional development. This activity is one which is directly related to new data products and sciences of the NSSDC, and should not be considered a non-NSSDC related activity. 23 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I Conclusions and Recommendations We agree with the recommendations in the draft report with one exception, that being that the responsibility for correcting any deficiencies should be the NASA program Associate Administrator rather t:,-. roject Management or Center Management. As the GAO report and our own analysis indicate. the principal cause of these delays in data acquisition is the lack of enforcement of existing regulations such as NMI 7100.11, NPD 8030.3, and NHB 8030.6. A joint Headquarters/Goddard review of the situation led to a recent commitment to a new, more cost effective mode of operation of the NSSDC in which project and program scientist.- will have more direct responsibility for data acquisition and the establishment of priorities. They will be responsible for establishing with the Principal Investigators data management plans and programs to assure adequate analysis of spacecraft data and timely submission of data and associated documenta- tion to the Data Center. In the future, project plans will include a schedule for data submission to llow better planning and scheduling of data acquisition after launch. This new sharing of responsibility with prugram and project scientists will also increase the time that NSSDC staff collectively spend on data activities. The allocation of resources between gathering space science Jda. and analyzing the data will be addressed in Ccngressiondl tstihlony. ;g'.',< Noel W. Hinners ~3-/- Date 77 Associate Administrator for Space Science 24 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II UULTS OY U,S. GOUNAL ACCOUNTING orFICE SUIVEY OF SPACE SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS INSTRUCTIONS Investigators working on pace science experiments flown on NASA missions are uually required to reduce nd submit the firet six months of data they receive to the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) within approximately two yeare after the launch of the atellite. Accoruing to NSSDC records, ome data has not been submitted in a timelv manner, nd we are attempting to identify the zasone for the delaye. NASA recorde indicate you have been assigned as a Principal Investigator (PI) on at leart one experiment, and ae ·. '-h should be able to addrese the factors diecusseed in thie questionnaire. However, if you were never a PI on a NASA experimental mission, or have never been required to submit data to NSSDC, or have always eubmitted your data on time, we would still appreciate your views to the extent poeesible. ?lease read each question carefully and answer each as frankly and completely as possible based upon your overall experiences. Do not single out your beet or worst experience; however, if you have been associated with only one experiment, please respond as best you can from that single experience. Because you may have been involved in numerous pace flight experiments and missions, we have etructured our questions to apply to general or typical itutions--not specific ones. Therefore, you may find it difficu'.t in ome caeees to check only one response alternative when inetructed to do so. However, o - of the response alternatives i almost always more relevant to your general or overall experience than ..- others. Please mark that one and pardon u for forcing you to choose only one. 1. What has generally been your role or position 2. What has ben your primary organizational with respect to NASA experiments you have affiliation, while aerving a an investi- been involved with? (Check one.) (See Note A p. 33. gator? (Check one.) LZ/ Pri.icipal Investigator LL7 Federal Government, except NASA Li7 Co-Investigator /7 State Government /02/ Guest Investigator /i7 Local Government L// Data Analysis Teem Member /i7 Regional Agency /Q2/ Spacecraft or Hardware Development /R/ NASA Team Member /U7 Industries /03/ Other (please specify) /17 Academic /00/ Foundation LT7 Federal Contract Research Center ~/ Non-profit /T Other (please specify) 25 APPENDIX I APPENDIX II 3. Which discipline is most representative of the 5. Provide a breaL ut for the total number of experiments on which you have been (are) an experiments cite 'n qusqtion #4 above on Investigator or Team Member (check one.) the following base.. IfM Astronomy approximate numbe, f experiments required by NASA contract to submit /- Geodesy and Gravimetry data to NSSDC 7 Geology approximate number of experiments for which there was an oral agreement with Ionospheric Physics NASA to submit data to NSSDC Meteorology approximate number of experiments for which there was no firm NASA require- /31/ Particles and Fields ment to submit data to NSSDC, but felt obligation to do so /08/ Planetary Atmospheres other (please specify) _ /06/ Planetology *See Note B p. 33. /097 Solar Physics /0 Other (please specify) How many of all these submissions have been completed to date? (Note: Consider a "completed" submission as: (1) a required submission which satisfied agreed-upon timeframes, volumes, etc.; 4. To date, on how many experiments have you or (2) one for which there was no firm require- been assigned, or otherwise assumed, the ment by NASA to submit but which you believe has responsibility for submitting reduced (and sufficient data in NSSDC to be useful to others analyzed) data to NSSDC, either as a in the scientific community) Principal Investigator, Team Leader, etc.? Number completed (If all of them ___ None (If none, go to question #7) have been completed, go to question #7) /1 1= 6. Please indicate the approximate numbe' of /21/ 2 submissions not yet completed associated with each of the reasons listed below for /17 3 not submitting reduced and analyzed data. g6/7 4-6 NUMBER OF EXPERIMENTS ,V5/ 7-10 OT C0(PLETED REASON FOR NOT SU.ITTINC. See Note B Data not due to NSSDC yet 05-/ More than 10 Submission due, but experi- encing data reduction and/or analysis problems Reduction and analysis com- plete but awaiting further instruction to submit No plans to ever submit Other (please specify) 26 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 7. Which of the following statements best 9. Typially, in obtaining NASA support, has describes your feeling toward submitting the scope of work you originally proposed data to NSSDC? (Check one.) for data reduction and anealysis activities /11/ Reluctant to submit because the been revised by NASA in any way? (check one) time and money required to prepare16 Significantly decreased data for NSSDC detracts from exper- imental effort M7 Moderately decreased / Reluctant to submit because of / No change possibility that the data could be misinterpreted by other scien- /08/ Moderately increased tists and result in misleading conclusions co/01/clusions Sinificantly increased /02/ Reluctant to submit because of If so, what was (will be) the effect of such belief that experiment d-'a should changes on theachievement of your proposed remain proprietary rig 'f in- objectives? (check one) vestigative team for a anger period of time /11/ Substantial improvement /72/ No reluctance to submit data /0/ Marginal improvement /05/ Other (please specify) /18/ Little or no effect /38/ Marginal degradation /30/ Substantial degradation DATA REDUCTION AND ANALYSIS If any degradation occurred, do you believe 8. In general, have the data analysis proposals the change was Justified? (please comment) you submitted to NASA included the scope of work and funding amounts you believed were See Note necessary to achieve the scientific goals you wished to investigate? /67 Yes /33 No If not, why not? (check all that may apply)l/ /29/ Did not have available sufficient personal, equipment, facilitiee, etc., to complete the necessary level of effort L02/ Technologies required were beycnd the available state-of-the-art /20/ Thought the scope of work was too iarge to gain NASA support ZL57 Thought that total project costs would limit the probability of obtaining NASA funding 1-Ul Thought that the time required to accomplish all project activities would limit the probability of ob- taining NASA funding /20/ Other (please specify) l/Percentages total to ore than 100 percent because multiple responses could be checked. 27 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 10. Typically, in obtaining NASA support, has 12. Has the timefrre idieLted 31. ._:qtion Ill the cost you originally proposed for data proven to be adequate time in which t process reduction and analysis activites been your data and achieve your xperi" lr revised by NASA in any way? (..heck one) objectives? LQ Significantly increased ,/7- Yee jW Moderately increased /7W No Lp/ No change If not, please indicate wvht you consider to be the time 4enerally needed to do this? 1W Moderately decreased (check one) /T Significantly decreased IT 2 years after launch If so, what was (will be) the effect of tLI 3 years after launch such changes on the achievement of your proposed objectivee? (check one) /| 4 years fter lunch I/TJ Substential improvement /T 5 years after launch L Marginal imprvemnt /27 Other (please specify) L1W Little or no effect /34/ Mrsinel desradation 13. If you ansevred "No" to Question #12. please /34/ Substantial degradation cite the primary reason why more time is generally needed. (check one) If any degradation occurred, do you believe the change was justified? (please comment) /T/ More data is received than anticipated See Note B /N7 Instrument problems hinder anelysis efforts /-)-7 Spacecraft problem hinder analysis efforts /1T7 Delays in receiving data from NASA tracking and processing stations 11. What bhs generally been the timeframe which /57 Data r-duction/analyeis equipment NASA hase yagreed to fund you for poet-launch problems hinder efforts data reduction and analysis, under your initial proposal? (cbeck one) / s Effective data reduction/analysis plan not formulated before receipt I- Less thn I year after launch of first dete--which hinders efforts /337 1 year after launch /T Other (please specify) /441 2 years after launch L07= 3 years after launch /007 4 years after laeuch /s7 5 or ore years after launch /M7 Other (please specify) 28 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 14. Cenjrally, what hae been the funding source 17. In general. how would you rate the adequacy for the initial post-launch deat analysis of total funding provided by all scurces for effort on your experiments? (check one) data reduction and analysis efforts? (Check one) /i7 NASA /7 Significntly more than adequate Li91 Co-funding by NASA and your (or some other) organization or agency /01 More than adequate /03/ Other (if you marked this box go to j/ Adequate question #18(b) and indicate your primary source) /44/ Less than adequate /19/ Significantly less than adequate 15. On the average. pproximately what pe-en:t- age of the total funding an "-ved by NASA. If not adequate, recognizing that any indivi- i.e. under your initial expe sent proposals, dual experiment will have a limited total is represented by poet-launch date reduction/ budget, what percent of that budget do you analysis efforts? (check one) believe should be directed specifically toward post-launch data reduction/analysis. (Note: If you received funding onll for data reduction/analysis check this /* /7 Percent box 09! eand go to Question #17) *See Note B 7T Less than 52 18.(a) Have you ever had to seek additional funds--other than funds provided under f.7/ 6 - lO your initial NASA contact--in order to complete your post-launch data reduction/ /17 11 - 15l analysis: _t/ 16 - 202 / 2 Never (If this box is checked, go to question #20) hj7 21- 25X ,37 Rarely T 26- 302 hl/ Sometimes A_7 More than 302 47 As often as not 16. Historically, what percentage of the total /15/ Cenerally funding support received from NASA as well as other sources on your experiments /157 Almost Always (including follow-on efforts) is moet rep- resentative of your post-launch data re- /17/ Always duction/analysis efforts? Note: If you have not yet completed the (b) What has generally been the chief source data reduction/analysis effort on any of of this funding? (check one) your experimentr, please provide your best estimate of the percent of total funds re- /17/ NASA project office quired to complete that phase. (check one) /5 NASA headquarters /W Lesse than 52 /_0 National Science Foundation /09/ 6 - 102 /0 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration i13 11 - 152 /0T7 Department of Defense /T7 16 - 20 /087 Your peat/present employer (other. then /67 21 - 252 above) /I1 26 - 302 /0i7 Other on-going experiments on which you were (ere) an investigator /1I7- More than 302 I~7T Other (pieeae specify) 29 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 19. Did these additional funds generally permit 21. How would you describe the time period you to complete your post-launch data NASA generally plans or allows between analysis effort? launches? /i6- Yes 7 ost launches occur too close together to adequately analyze 13_2/ previous data and/or solve problems which could reoccur. 20. With regard to the instrument and tracking /53/ Most launches are spaced appropriately (attitude, time, position, etc.) data you to allow ample time to analyze previous typically receive to anclyze, how would data and/or solve previous problems you generally rate the r: which could reoccur. (a) Quantity? (check one box for each colum) /09/ Most launches are spaced too far apart to adequately achieve mission Instrument Trackin objectives. /277 /257 Nore than enough data to / 12/ Other (please specify) achieve scientific objectives W/67 /69/ Just about right aount of data to achi-ve scientific objectives /06/ /06/ Too little data to achieve 22. Would you say that NASA places (check one) scientific objectives L ' More enphasis (b) Quality? (check one box for each columa) _J Equal emphasis Instrument Tracking l-80Less emphasis /42/ L Very gsod 6/05/ No basis to judge 1__ L/_ Good on the management of post-launch data reduction/ /08/ /13/ Fair analysis phase of its missions than it does on the pre-launch phase? If you arked "less /03/ /04/ Poor emphasis" do you belie this has lessened the scientific accomplishments of NASA supported /01 /02/ Very poor experiments? If the quantity received was more or less /8s- Yes than necessary, explain the primary reason(s) or cause(s), if known. /19/ No See Note Please provide any additional explanatory coments you may wish to make. See Note If the quality was poor or very poor, explain the reason(s) or cause(s), if know. See Note 30 APPENDIX II APPENDIX I ( 23. Listed helow are several important phases in space science experimental activities and some factors or problems which might cause significant post-launch reduction/anal';sis delays. If you have gsenerally experienced any of these problems which resulted in a delay, place a check by the problem experienced under the appropriate phase in which it most typically occurs. For example, if poor planning of the desicn or development of the instrument frequently carses problems and delays in post-launch data analysis efforts, place a check next to "Insuffltint or poor planning" under the olumn headed "design, development, and test of instrument." Please consider each factor or problem, and if you generally have not 'epf-enced it or it des not create delays n analysis efforts, cross out the item letter and go to the next item. PHASE Reasons or Carses of 4 / Significant Data Reduction /a C Oa Analysis Delays / (b) Inaufficient funds 07 10 01 26 3 kc) Not enough taff 07 10 03 28 23 Ed) inexperIEnco start 0 I 0 !03 10 05 e) Inadequate tcl:le- 02 02 02 7 3 (f) Insufficint computer support ox 02 03 14 I11 (h) Excess quantity ofdta 00 1 Q _ 06 -J) Late receit of data w nr n Al 11 (k) Instruent operation probles 06 01 -- (r -'Meuand effot required to prepare follow-on proposals 03 01 01 11 18 - spacSscr-ft operation problesms 04 01 05 1 07 (n) Poorly delined objectiv- 01 ° (o) Frequent vorT scope oalzctaions- - revisions 03 02 01 03 04 (p) Other (please specify) 02 02 02 07 OS 31 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 24. For the problems you indicated in Question 26. Whether or not the objective has been *23, select the three you consider the most achieved, do you believe hat NSSDC serves significant and briefly provide any explana- a useful scientific purpose from the stand- tion and/or recommended solutions you believe point of providing centralized archives would help to alleviate this type of problem for space science data? in the future. Please indicate each problem with its appropriate letter in the brackets L0 Definitely no provided in the margin. /7 Probably no First most significant problem: Mj/ Undecided See Note /32/ Probably yes /53/ Definitely yes _/ No basis to judge Second most significant problem: 27. Each of the items listed below deals with certain features of data which Investigators See Note are required to submit to NSSDC. From vour own experience, please rate each item as to _whether you consider it to be a problem or not to the other users of such data in the general scientific community. (Check one box for each item) [ i Third most significant problem: See Note P ow o o a. The form and type of the reduced and nalvzed data 45 21 13 13 09 25. THE'NSSDC SERVICE b. The detail of the re- In 1965, NASA established the NSSDC with duced and analyzed data the objective of providing the widest prac- ticable and appropriate dissemination of c. The detail of the data obtained from space science investi- supporting documentation 25 28 18 13 16 gations. To what extent do you believe submitted along with re- NSSDC has achieved this objective? (Check duced and analyzed data one. ) d. The time periods covered /7 Little or no achievement by the reduced and analyzed 71 10 13 03 03 date /111 Minimally achieved a. The timeliness of data sub- 38 26 1 12 10 /36/ Moderately achieved mission to NSSDC /I7 Major achievement f. Other (please specify) /02l/ Completely or almost completely See Note B achieved L/I7 No basis to judge 32 APPENDIX II APPENDIX II 28. Are there any particular types of activities, studies, information, etc., currently being done or available at NSSDC which you believe are not necessary? /._- Yes /94 No If yes, specify what they are and why there is no need for then. See Note B 29. Are there any types of activities, studies, information, etc. not currently being done or available at NSSDC which you believe would be useful to the scientific public? r27 Yes /m7 HNo If yes, specify what they are. See Note B ADDITIONAL CONIENTS 30. If you have additional comments on any of the questions or related points or topics not covered, please write your coments in the space below. Your views are greatly appreciated. Thank you. 41 percent commented (See note B) NOTES: A. Percentages are based on the actual number of properly marked responses to each question. The total of the percentages for each question will not necessarily equal 100 percent because of rounding-percentages ending in .5 or higher were rounded up to the next whole number, *nd those percentages ending in .4 or lower were rounded down to the next whole number. D. Questions requiring written responses were not computer coded. Therefore these questions are not sumarized. 33 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III RESULTS OF U, S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SURVEY OF REQUESTERS OF DATA FROM THE NATIONAL SPACE SCIENCE DATA CENTER INSTRUCTIONSt Please read these questions carefully and answer each one as frankly and completely as possible. If the material you requested from the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC)/World Data Center-A (WDC-A) was not intended to be used primarily for research and analysis purposes, please omit questions 20 and 21. If the material was requested for research and analysis purposes, please complete the entire questionnai , If you have submitted more than one request for material to the NSSDC/WDC-A, please respond to the questions from your overall general experience. Please don't single out either your best experience or your worst experience when responding. Think of your total experience and attempt to give a representative response. Naturally, if you have submitted only one request, please respond s best you can from that single experience. 1. When you requested data from NSSDC, what type 3. Approximately how many times have you requested of organization were you generally affiliated data from the NSSDC? (Check one.) with? If affiliated with two or more, please indicate the primary organization. (Check 1 one for section (a) and one for section (b). (a) Countryt (See Note A P 39. ) L 2-5 L.W United States /. Non-United States /06 11-20 (b) Organization: _.. 21 or more /aJ Federal Government, except NASA 4. In which of the following data source categories /L/ State Government and disciplines have you most frequently requested data? (Check one for section (a) and one for u/ Local Government section b.) E Regional Agency (a) Ctezoriesw Lt/ NASA L~L Ground-based /_7 Rockets / Industries ML/ nodels O0Balloons /Z] Academic L Computer Codes 8H Spacecraft -7 Foundation LO' Aircraft L.7 Other (please spezify) L / Federal Contract Research Center (b) Diaciolines; &j6 Non-profit L/17 Astronomy IOther (please specify) GJ Astronomy 1A. Geodesy and Gravimetry 2. What is the most frequent use of the data you requested from NSSDC? (Check one.) L_ Ionospheric Physics L2 Personal exhibit or display L07 Meteorology 2 Professional exhibit or display _ Particles and fields Instructional material L Planetary Atmospheres ~ Reference material 3.LV Planet logy (including geology, geo-physics, j67 Research and analysis H Solar Physics U3. Other (please specify) _. Other (please specify) 34 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III 5. In what medium have you most frequently 7. Generally, what h been the primary source or requested data? (Check one.) means by which you have identified the specific data you have requested? (Check one.) § Punched Cards Li7 Documents Describing the Operation of NSSDC n_ Digital Magnetic Tapes and WDC.AoR&S /4 Microfilm ./ NSSDC Announcements of Satellite Experiment Data Availability L1 ' PLotographic Products (Prints, duplicates, etc.) L_ NSSDC Data Announcement Bulletins /0 Computer Printout I NSSDC Report on Active and Planned Spacecraft and Experiments ~_~ Microfiche L NSSDC Lunar and Planetary Catalogs and Users /097 Hard Copy (Text or report) Guides /01/ Other (please specify) ___NSSDC 7 Meteorological Data Catalogs and Users Guides L. NSSDC Handbook of Correlative Data 6. How did you initially learn of the data and services available through NSSDC? (Check one.) 1 NSSDC Spacecrft Program Bibliographies /26/ Friends (co-workers or others) /.' WDC-A Catalog of Data /14/ Technical Publications (including internal 7 WDC-A Spacewarn Bulletin references) 7 Technical Publications /7 Professional Societies, Conferences, etc. Ps Personal contacts with NSSDC (Mail, Telephone, /177 NASA (mailing list or other) Face to Face, etc.) /1 Participation in NASA program V Personal Contacts with Scientists, Investi- gators, etc. (Mail, Telephone, Face to _g~ Other (please specify) Face, etc.) E7 Other (please specify) 8. Have you encountered difficulty in using NSSDC/ WDC-A documents or publications to ideatify and order data? (Check one.) L. Yes L&. No If yes, what is the most frequent cause of this difficulty? (Check one.) j.(/ Inaccurate descriptions or explanations of data Insufficient descriptive or explanatory information L/ Language too technical to understand BO Language not technical enough 0/ Information difficult to find in catalog (e.g., indexing problems) a. Other (please specify) 35 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III 9. Excluding requests currently being processeed, 11, For requests on which you have been referred in which of the following manners has NSSDC to another source by NSSDC, were you generally most frequently processed or handled your able to obtain the data you needed from the requests (Check one.) alternative sources? (Check one.) s By furnishing the data requested j Never referred to alternative sources-- if you checked this box, skip to question LW Referred to alternative source(s) for data if you checked thi bo13. kip to quetion number 13. L/ NSSDC unable to fulfill request(s) or 7 always or almost always unable to recommend alternative source(s) 10. With respect to data obtained from NSSDC, what generally has been your general experience with the 9 never or almost never following. 12. Cite (in order of frequency of use) primary alternative sources for space science data you exactly as requested -8 have been referred to by NSSDC. L.V exactly as requested not as requested, but usable 2 not as requested and not usable 2 b. Receipt of data was: (Cheek one.) 13. When requesting space science or other xperiment 0much earlier than anticipated related data, is NSSDC generally your first choice as a data source? 2/Y earlier than anticipated / 6y just about when anticipated jU8J later than anticipated If no, please list (In order of frequency of use) thos, data sources you consider preferable /04/ much later than anticipated to NSSDC and briefly explain the basis for your preference. c. Quality of data received was: (Check one.). See Note B L9/ very good LI good La/ fair poor / very poor d. Value of the data to my efforts has been: (Check one.) 3. L/ little or no value minor value L, moderate value LW substantial value 2I extreme value 36 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III 14. What has bean your most ticai method of 16. On approximately how many of your requests have ordering and receiving data or information you been charged by NSSDC for the service supplied from NSSDC7 (Check one each for part A, to you? and B,) A/ On all requests A. Orders / . on most requests L_ Mailed letter request viAbout half the requests L Nailed Order Form .I7M Telephone //L/ Very few of the requests None of the requests ,i6 Walk-in (ordered in person) 17. If in the future, requesters are required to pay l_ Other (please specify) the costs incurred in providing the service, (i.e., including only mailinb, handling and reproduction costs), would you still use the service? (Check one.) 3B.Received: , Yes No . MNail delivery 18. To effectively use the data you receive from NSSDC _ (other than catalogs, bulletins, etc.), is it L2W Picked up at NSSDC generally necessary to contact the scientist or investigator who reduced the data and placed it U Other (please specify) in NSSDC? .fl Yes .f7 No 15. Of the data received on each request made to If you hecked no, skip to question number 20.) NSSDC, approximately how much of that data would you say you generally use? (Check one.) 19. Once you determined that it was necessary to contact the investigator for assistance, did you none or almost none make contact in most cases? (Check one.) _ about one-fourth t. Yes No = about one-half If yX, how helpful were these contacts in making the data usable for the purpose you intended. 1/ about three-fourths (Check one.) J a11 or almost all 85/ Very helpful If al of it is generally not used, please L7 Helpful, but not what needed indicate the primary reason for this. (Check one.) LN/ No help at all L/ Not all the data received was usable because If no, identify the reasons. (Check all that apply.) of poor quality, insufficient back-up information, etc. 1/l Contact would inconvenience me / Ordered more data than was really needed LI Contact would inconvenience the investigator /_. Keceived more data than requested vJ] Did not know how to contact investigator L3 Other (please specify) _ . Investigator and/or staff members were not available = Investigator would probably be uncooperative . Other (please specify) 37 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III 20. Each of the items below deals with different 21. For the problems you identified in question 20, features of the services and data offered by please select the three you consider the most NSSDC(WDC-A). Identify any serious problems significant and briefly provide any explanations which have hampered or ,ade impossible use of and/or solutions you believe would help alleviate the data you requested; in other words, items this problem in the future. Please indicate each that have caused significant cost increases, problem with its appropriate letter in the brackets significant modification of the scope of work, provided in the margin. or cancellation of effcrts, etc. Please consider wt..thr each item is a signifi- L- Nost significant problem: cant problem or not. For each item you consider to be a significant problem, check one of the columns to indicate the frequency with which See Note B you have experienced it. If the item is not considered a problem, cross out the item letter, and go to the next item. LJ Second most significant problem: a) Informing the potential user See Note 3 community of the service 097 1 5 available b) Explanation and classifica- tion of the data and infor- L 54 mation available c) Providing other types of data- correlational or long term 9 9 03 02 5 analysis _ , J Third most significant problems d) Caet to requesters 1 09 03020 3 See Note Note 3 e) Speed of fulfilling 11606060 8 f) Information on availability 11 23 07T 0 9 of data 0 9 g) Data quantity i2 1002 01 00 5 h) Data quality 1417 05 02 012 _i i)_____________ d 22. As previously stated, NAfA established the NSSDC i) Media data is available in 1012 0402; 3 with the objective of praviding the widest prac- ticable and appropriate dissemination of data j) Format data is available in D914 05010 9 obtained from space science investigations. To k) Time coverage of the what extent do you believe NSSDC has achieved Rhenomena measured 7 14 05 03 02 this objective? (Check one.) I) Coverage--area and coordi- 050107 naes of ta upplied 10 161000 Little or no achievement m) Quantity of back-up or 09 1210 02 03 ly supporting data including Minimally achieved instructions for use n) Quality of back-up or Ioderately Mo./ achieved supporting data including 09 13 0502 010 instructions for use &j Major achievement o) Use of technical wording __0101; o) Usoftechnlicluwore di n 12109o701 u 7 Completely or almost completely achieved p) other (leuse _ s .,ify p) 6(hrpl ease specify) O o1100102 02!0194 U No basis to judge 1/ Not considered a problem 38 APPENDIX III APPENDIX III 23. Whether or not the objective has been achieved, 26. Additional Comments do yo-ubelieve that NSSDC serves a u3eful scientific purpose from the standpoint of provid- If you have additional comments on any of the ing centralized archives for space science data? questions or related points or topics not covered, please write your comments in the /00/ Definitely no space below. Your views are greatly appreciated. Thank you. /00/ Probably no 25 percent commented (See Note B) /01/ Undecided /12/ Probably yes /84/ Definitely yes a_7 No basis to judge 24. Are there any particular types of activities, studies, information, etc., currently being done or available at NSSDC which you believe are not necessary? D7 Yes j No If yes, specify what they are and why there is no need for them. See Note B NOTES: A. Percentages are based on the actual number of properly marked resoonses to each question. The total of the per- centages for each question will not necessarily equal 100 percent--because 25. Are there any types of activities, studies, of rounding--percentages ending in .5 information, etc. not currently being done o'r or higher were rounded up to the next available at NSSDC which you believe would :,e whole number and those percentages useful to the scientific public? ending in .4 or lower were rounded down Yes to the next whole number. B. Questions requiring written responses No ~. were not computer coded. Therefore these questions are not summarized. If yes, specify what they are. See Note B 39 APPENDIX IV APPENDIX IV PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTIVITIES DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT Tenure of office From To ADMINISTRATOR: Alan M. Lovelace (acting) May 1977 Present James C. Fletcher Apr. 1971 May 1977 George M. Low (acting) Sept. 1970 Apr. 1971 Thomas O. Paine Apr. 1969 Sept. 1970 Th-mas O. Paine (acting) Oct. 1968 April 1969 -,James E. Webb Feb. 1961 Oct. 1968 DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR: Alan M. Lovelace June 1976 Present George M. Low Dec. 1969 June 1976 Thomas O. Paine Mar. 1968 Apr. 1969 Robert C. Seamans, Jr. Dec. 1965 Jan. 1968 Hugh L. Dryden Oct. 1958 Dec. 1965 ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR OFFICE OF SPACE SCIENCE: a/ Noel W. Hinners June 1974 Present John E. Naugle (acting) Mar. 1974 June 1974 John E. Naugle Dec. 1971 March 1974 ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR OFFICE OF SPACE SCIENCE AND APPLICATIONS: a/ John E. Naugle Oct. 1967 Dec. 1971 Homer E. Newell Nov. 1963 Oct. 1967 DIRECTOR, GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER: Robert S. Cooper July 1976 Present John F. Clark May 1966 June 1976 John F. Clark (acting) July 1965 May 1966 Harry J. Goett Sept. 1959 July 1965 40 APPENDIX IV APPENDIX IV Tenure of office DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SPACE SCIENCE DATA CENTER: James I. Vette Jan. 1967 Present a/The Office of Space Science and Applications was reorgan- ized and in December 1971 Space Science was established as a separate office. 41
More Emphasis Needed on Data Analysis Phase of Space Science Programs
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-06-27.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)