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NPR 4310.1
Effective Date: March 16, 1999
Expiration Date: May 16, 2014
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: Identification and Disposition of NASA Artifacts (Revalidated w/Change 2 1/31/06)

Responsible Office: Logistics Management Division

| TOC | Change_History | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | AppendixA | AppendixB | ALL |

Chapter 1. Background

1.1 Artifact Administration

1.1.2. Under the terms of agreement referenced in subparagraph P.4.1., the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), which is administered by the Smithsonian Institution, is responsible for the custody, protection, preservation, exhibition, and loan of artifacts received from Government agencies. Repositories for NASA artifacts are identified with the assistance of the NASM so as to most effectively inform the public regarding NASA`s endeavors. Artifacts are offered to the NASM when programmatic utility to NASA has been exhausted. Requirements for artifacts may include support for NASA`s public affairs, industrial outreach, and education programs. It is NASM policy not to accept items into the General Collection solely for the purpose of loans to other agencies, organizations, and institutions. NASA may loan available artifacts as exhibits pursuant to the policy directive referenced in subparagraph P.4.5., provided no other programmatic requirement exists for the item.

1.2. Defining NASA Artifacts

1.2.1. Artifacts, as applied to NASA, are unique objects that document the history of the science and technology of aeronautics and astronautics. Their significance and interest stem mainly from their relation to the following: historic flights, programs, activities, or incidents; achievements or improvements in technology; our understanding of the universe; and important or well-known personalities.

1.2.2. Space-related artifacts may include, but are not limited to, objects such as major program vehicle components, unique devices, prototype and proof test articles, payloads or individual instruments, flight spares, astronaut tools and paraphernalia, design concept models, and high-fidelity simulators. Aeronautics artifacts include, but are not limited to, experimental aircraft, test and simulation devices, prototype systems, structural and test models, and flight-tested materials.

1.2.3. Flags, insignia, and other mementos carried in Official Flight Kits and astronaut Personal Preference Kits, or items specifically approved as reminders of specific flights are not to be considered artifacts. Artifacts also do not include non-serialized parts, or parts that exist in large numbers, except when such parts acquire special significance as indicated in subparagraph 1.2.1.

1.2.4. Questions regarding the classification of items as artifacts should be referred first to the Center Public Affairs Office, then, if necessary, to the Assistant Director, Collection Management, National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC. Centers will forward information copies of any correspondence to the NASM regarding artifacts to NASA Headquarters, Office of Public Affairs, and Office of Infrastructure, Management, and Headquarters Operations.

| TOC | Change_History | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | AppendixA | AppendixB | ALL |
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