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NPD 1040.4B
Effective Date: September 22, 2009
Expiration Date: March 31, 2015
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: NASA Continuity of Operations (COOP)

Responsible Office: Office of Protective Services


a. In accordance with the National Continuity Policy contained in Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 20, it is NASA policy to ensure that the Agency maintains a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of programs designed to ensure the continuous performance of essential functions under all conditions.

b. NASA will maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability by:

(1) Implementing continuity of operations (COOP) plans developed on the four foundations of continuity planning and program management: leadership, staff, communications/technology, and facilities.

(2) Establishing orders of succession and preplanned delegation and devolution of authorities that ensure an orderly predefined transition of leadership and delegation of authority within the Agency.

(3) Identifying and establishing procedures to ensure vital resources, facilities, and records are safeguarded, available, and accessible to support continuity of operations.

(4) Identifying provisions for the acquisition of necessary resources to maintain continuity of operations in an emergency situation.

(5) Identifying and obtaining redundant critical communications capabilities at primary and alternate sites and in transit to ensure the performance of essential functions.

(6) Identifying the components, processes, and requirements for the identification, training, and preparedness of personnel capable of relocating to alternate facilities to support the continuation of essential functions.

(7) Establishing alert and notification procedures for continuity and non-continuity personnel.

(8) Evaluating all NASA Mission Essential Infrastructure for mission criticality using a risk management approach to include information technology (IT), communications, and other facilities on which those assets depend (e.g., data, power, water, oil, gas, environmental controls, transportation, safety, and security). These requirements are established in NASA Procedural Requirement (NPR) 1040.1, NASA Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning Procedural Requirements, and referenced in national-level documents.

(9) Ensuring that essential management functions of Agency and Center critical operations are included under COOP planning.

(10) Developing provisions to attain operational capability at continuity sites within 12 hours of activation of COOP plans and sustain for up to 30 days.

(11) Focusing on reciprocal alternate COOP site operations at other NASA Centers and with international partners with whom NASA shares operational site capabilities.

(12) Reviewing and testing established COOP plans and IT systems contingency plans annually to ensure a viable plan.

(13) Ensuring that adequate resources are made available to maintain a viable and executable COOP capability.

(14) Establishing provisions for reconstitution capabilities that allow for recovery from a catastrophic emergency and resumption of normal operations.

(15) Ensuring that NASA information is protected, handled, and commensurate with the national security classification level, sensitivity, value, and criticality in accordance with NPR 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements; NPR 2190.1, NASA Export Control Program; and NPR 2810.1, Security of Information Technology.

(16) Ensuring any records created during this process be managed and dispositioned according to NPR 1440.6, NASA Records Management.


This NPD is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers. This language applies to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, other contractors, grant recipients, or parties to agreements only to the extent specified or referenced in the appropriate contracts, grants, or agreements.


a. National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(1).

b. Exec. Order No. 12,148, Federal Emergency Management, 3 C.F.R. 412 (1979), as amended by Exec. Order No. 12,919, National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness, 3 C.F.R. 901 (1994).

c. Exec. Order No. 12,656, Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities, 3 C.F.R. 585 (1988).

d. National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 51/HSPD 20, National Continuity Policy (2007).


a. NPR 1040.1, NASA Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning Procedural Requirements.

b. NPR 1440.6, NASA Records Management.

c. NPR 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements.

d. NPR 2190.1, NASA Export Control Program.

e. NPR 2810.1, Security of Information Technology.


a. Under the National Continuity Policy NSPD-51/HSPD-20, the NASA Administrator shall ensure that COOP planning is implemented, maintained, and tested throughout the Agency.

b. As the Agency Continuity Coordinator, the Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management shall be responsible for functional management and leadership of the COOP process and for implementing, managing, and monitoring participation in and compliance with this directive, NPR 1040.1, and national-level directives and guidance.

c. The Associate Administrator shall ensure that the NASA Centers (including Component Facilities under their cognizance) implement this policy directive and NPR 1040.1 as appropriate and that appropriate provisions are included in applicable contracting instruments through the contracting officers.

d. Center Directors and the Executive Director of Headquarters Operations shall be responsible for the appropriate implementation of this policy directive and NPR 1040.1 within their respective Centers, including Component Facilities.

e. The Chief Information Officer shall ensure the proper evaluation of NASA IT systems needed for the implementation of COOP plans.

f. NASA program managers are responsible for evaluating their program functions, primary or supporting IT communications systems, and other interdependencies for possible COOP implementation.

g. The Agency's Continuity Manager/Emergency Management Officer in the Office of Protective Services shall be responsible for the daily management of the continuity program and for monitoring of the direction, guidance, and best practices of both government and private sectors to develop the most relevant and robust continuity programs.




In assessing whether NASA complies with current regulations, the NASA Office of Protective Services shall do the following:

a. Utilize a modified version of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Continuity Evaluation tool to assess continuity plans and readiness at Centers and Component Facilities.

b. Ensure the assessment focuses on evaluating Center continuity programs, plans, and procedures and establish a baseline for demonstrating the extent to which a Center will implement, test, and train personnel under their continuity plans and procedures.

c. Have each Center submit to the Agency Continuity Manager each January 30 a copy of the assessment that covers the preceding year from January 1 to December 31.


NPD 1040.4A, dated March 29, 2004.

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.


Additional References

a. HSPD 7, Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection (2003).

b. NSPD 46/HSPD 15, Annex II, U.S. Strategy and Policy in the War on Terror (2006).

c. NPD 1000.3, NASA Organization.

d. NPR 1441.1, NASA Records Retention Schedules.

e. NPD 8710.1, Emergency Preparedness Program.

f. NPR 8715.2, NASA Emergency Preparedness Procedural Requirements.

g. DHS FEMA Federal Continuity Directives 1 and 2, Federal Executive Branch Continuity of Operations (2008).

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