Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day and we will take a day off from our work duties and celebrate with parades, ceremonies, and back yard picnics. As we do, let’s remember the true meaning of this important Holiday. Many of our lives have been touched by someone lost in service to our country.

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

On Memorial Day the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.


Center Director Message on Innovation 2013

To the JSC Community:

Wow, two notes in one day from me!  Both notes represent work by enthusiastic teams at this center who are looking at ways to make JSC an even better place to work.   In this note, I wanted to get back to the community regarding plans for Innovation Day.   As mentioned a couple weeks back, we asked the Innovation 2013 team to re-think how to best meet the goals of Innovation Day given our budget challenges.  Well, they’ve come up with a great plan.   

On May 2nd, the Innovation 2013 Kickoff Event will take place in the Teague auditorium and lobby, from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m.  You will have the opportunity to hear inspiring talks from two noteworthy and accomplished speakers: Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus at Southwest Airlines, and Udaya Patnaik, Founder and Principal of Jump Associates (a top strategy and innovation consulting firm).  Barrett, working side by side with Herb Kelleher, orchestrated Southwest's now legendary approach to customer service and will speak on how Southwest’s people-focused culture drives innovative results. Patnaik will speak on how to create new business and reinvent existing ones by focusing on strategic growth and innovation.

In addition, while at the Teague, you will have the opportunity to provide your thoughts and ideas on some specific questions related to JSC 2.0 and enhancing innovation at JSC.  During intermission, we’ll provide you with dessert to spark your creative juices!  Innovation events continuing throughout the year will build on the input received during this kickoff event.

For the full May 2nd agenda and speaker bios, go to: https://innovation2013.jsc.nasa.gov/message.cfm 

Please mark your calendars and make plans to have lunch early on May 2nd, so you can join me at noon for this interactive innovation event. 




NASA Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, signed into law in November 2012, directed Inspectors General at each Federal agency to designate a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman to educate Agency personnel about their whistleblower rights.  Here at NASA, I have asked Frank LaRocca, Counsel to the Inspector General, to serve in this role.

Federal law prohibits supervisors from retaliating against employees who report information they reasonably believe evidences:

  •   a violation of any law, rule, or regulation;
  •   gross mismanagement;
  • a gross waste of funds;
  •   an abuse of authority; and/or
  • a sustantial and specific danger to public health and safety

You are protected if you make a whistleblower disclosure to the NASA Office of Inspector General, the Office of Special Counsel, or a NASA supervisor.  You are also protected if you make a whistleblower disclosure to other individuals or organizations, such as a congressional committee or the media, provided that the disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law and the information is not classified or restricted from disclosure for other reasons.

NASA’s Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman is coordinating with officials at NASA Headquarters and the Centers to increase awareness of whistleblower protections and the prohibitions on whistleblower retaliation. While the Ombudsman does not act as a complainant’s legal representative or advocate, he can provide information and educational materials about whistleblower rights and remedies.

For additional information, please contact Frank LaRocca by e-mail at HQ-OIG-Counsel@mail.nasa.gov or by telephone at 202-358-2575.  In addition, please see our webpage at http://oig.nasa.gov/whistleblower.html 


Thank you.

Paul K. Martin

Inspector General


Please Check Out Some Local Volunteer Opportunities

Check out the the following volunteer opportunities connected with BAHEP's Team NASA and Space City Volunteers

The Conrad Foundation 2013 Innovation Summit


April 9 through April 13, 2013

Gilruth and Space Center Houston

Volunteers needed before and during the event to help young innovators and their teachers in a collaborative forum to help build the progressive technologies and the next-generation workforce of the 21st century. Volunteer opportunities include greeting students and teachers, working at registration, monitoring shuttles, assisting speakers and VIPs, helping judges, and being an extra set of hands. Details and sign up at:http://www.signupgenius.com/go/805084BABAD29A64-2013


Diva Design Series

April 26, 2013

Space Center Houston

9am to 12pm or 12pm to 2pm

Workshop facilitators are needed to lead an activity for middle school aged girls to create a piece of wearable technology.  No experience necessary.  To register: contact LaTanya Miles, Space Center Houston, lmiles@spacecenter.org281-283-4751


SystemsGo Rocket Launches

May 11 and May 12

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Volunteers needed to help 16 Gulf Coast area high schools test the project vehicles that they have designed and fabricated to either loft a one-pound payload to one-mile or attempt transonic velocity.  Volunteers assist with GPS tracking, Pad Techs, Mission Control, Runner, and Range Safety Officers.  Contact Joyce Abbey at 281-335-2041 orjoyce.b.abbey@saic.com.  To see past events, go to www.systemsgo.org


The Special Olympics

The event will be held at Clear Creek High School. They need hundreds of volunteers to make this event a success and in previous years Space Center Volunteers (SCV) has provided many of those volunteers for the event.  This year the event has been reduced to a one day event, Saturday, May 4.  There are a few volunteer slots available on Friday May 3 to help with set up.  Please share this information with your organization and try to recruit as many volunteers as possible.  If you need a red SCV shirt for any of your volunteers please let me know, we have plenty shirts available.  Attached you’ll find all the info needed to register as well as parking directions for the volunteers.  If you have any questions, there are several people listed in the attachment who can answer your questions.

Thanks for helping to make this a great event for all the kids!


Congratulations to the JES Tech S&MA Safety Panel Administration Team!

The ISS Safety Panels Group and the ISS Operations Group in the SAIC building decided to engage in some friendly Christmas-time competition. At stake was a pot-luck lunch provided by the losing team. The Safety Panels Group emerged on top with their Ginger Bread House and Cozy Fireside décor, accompanied by some live and festive music.