Staffing Implications of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System and Remote Sensing Activities

PSAD-80-47: Published: May 28, 1980. Publicly Released: May 30, 1980.

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A review was requested of the staffing implications caused by introducing the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center. TDRSS will markedly change Goddard's operating mode using satellites for tracking and data acquisition suppport of low, earth-orbiting spacecraft. This support function is now conducted by a worldwide network of ground tracking stations which will be closed or transferred to other NASA organizations. NASA decided to consolidate and restructure its contracts with industry for operating the space tracking and data system and to transfer to industry certain work currently performed by civil service employees.

NASA plans to put displaced Goddard civil service employees in other positions opened through new requirements. The conceptual plan seems reasonable and consistent with the Government policy of using contractor employees rather than Government employees where appropriate. Certain assumptions have been made in formulating this plan: TDRSS will be operational in 1982 and stations will be closed as scheduled. The previously approved plan to consolidate three ground stations with the Deep Space Network at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be accomplished on schedule. The transfer of three ground stations to other NASA organizations for primary mission support will be approved. The consolidation plan could reduce the opportunites for small and minority contractors to partcipate unless preventive efforts are taken. According to NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials, the proposed transfer of land remote sensing activities from NASA to NOAA will have little impact on NASA personnel. Further review work will be done when the plan for transition is completed.

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