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NPR 1385.1A
Effective Date: March 04, 2020
Expiration Date: March 04, 2025
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Public Appearances of NASA Personnel, Including Astronauts

Responsible Office: Office of Communications

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

Chapter 2. Public Appearances of NASA Astronauts

2.1 Responsibility

2.1.1 The Associate Administrator, Office of Communications, or his/her designee, is responsible for the following:

a. Developing policy for the astronaut appearance program in coordination with the Astronaut Appearance Office at the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

b. Ascertaining that necessary funds are available before committing astronauts to non-reimbursable appearances.

2.1.2 The Astronaut Appearance Manager, NASA Headquarters Office of Communications, is responsible for the following:

a. Reviewing and scheduling all astronaut appearances involving the White House, Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Government, or the Diplomatic Corps which encompasses Embassies and Foreign Missions and all requests originating from NASA Headquarters.

b. Providing an annual report of astronaut appearances and other reports as requested by the AA for the Office of Communications. These reports will list events, geographic locations, audience size, and significant trends in astronaut appearances.

2.1.3 The Astronaut Office, NASA Johnson Space Flight Center is responsible for the following:

a. Scheduling all requests for astronaut appearances not specifically identified in 2.1.2 above.

b. Processing travel arrangements and reimbursement of all astronaut appearances.

c. Compiling a schedule of all astronaut appearances being developed by its coordinators and distributing the schedule to the Astronaut Appearance Manager, Office of Communications, on a weekly basis.

d. Providing reports of completed astronaut appearances to the Astronaut Appearances Manager, on a quarterly basis or as requested. The report will list events, dates, geographic locations and audience size for all appearances.

e. The Astronaut Office, JSC will not be required to provide NASA Headquarters with copies of correspondence pertaining to the astronaut appearances unless specifically requested. This correspondence includes letters and itineraries.

f. Maintaining standard operating procedure and requirement documents providing specific logistical requirements pertaining to astronaut appearances including such items as allowable number of appearances per day, length of day, allowable frequency and duration of travel for appearances, etc. These documents will be maintained and provided upon request.

g. Maintaining the Astronaut Appearances website to include the guidelines for requesting an astronaut appearance.

2.2 Database

The Astronaut Appearance Office at JSC is responsible for maintaining a database that contains records of all astronaut appearance requests received, the disposition of those requests and basic metrics including at a minimum; the date and the location of appearances, type and size of the audience, and the astronaut(s) assigned.

2.3 Availability of Astronauts for Appearances

2.3.1 The Head of the Astronaut Office, or his/her designee, shall determine astronaut availability for public appearances. The frequency of public appearances by active astronauts is controlled by the demands of their programmatic duties. There may be additional restrictions based on specific periods of training or duties as described below:

a. Astronaut Candidates: New hires into the Astronaut Office are considered Astronaut Candidates. They enter an intense training and evaluation period lasting approximately 24 months. Until they complete this period and graduate to full astronaut status, astronaut candidates will not be available for public appearances.

b. Preflight Period: Once an Astronaut has been given a flight assignment for a specific mission he/she enters into a period of intense training for that mission. During this time their availability for public appearances is significantly constrained.

c. Postflight Period: A few weeks after an Astronaut returns from their space flight mission, they enter a “Postflight Period.” During this period, which lasts approximately six months, the astronaut is encouraged to share his/her experiences in space with the public. Consequently, public appearances become one of the astronaut’s primary functions and they are able to do significantly more appearances than at any other time.

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