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NPR 7120.10B
Effective Date: June 01, 2022
Expiration Date: June 01, 2027
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Technical Standards for NASA Programs and Projects

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Engineer

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |

Chapter 3. Selection, Tailoring, and Use of Technical Standards

3.1 Selection of Technical Standards

3.1.1 Program and project managers, with delegated Technical Authority concurrence, shall select technical standards for use in defining program and project requirements based on effectiveness, suitability, currency, and applicability for use as program and project requirements according to the following order of priority:

a. Technical standards mandated by law.

b. Technical standards designated as mandatory by NPDs and NPRs.

c. Technical standards necessary to promote mission success and engineering excellence. When all other factors are the same, select in the following order of precedence:

(1) Voluntary consensus standards unless inconsistent with applicable laws or NASA NPDs and NPRs, technically inadequate, or otherwise impractical.

(2) NASA technical standards or other Government agency technical standards (government-unique standards) when voluntary consensus standards do not exist or use would not be as effective as other standards in meeting NASA’s needs.

Note: Information is continually exchanged to ensure proper balance and ensure issues and concerns are properly elevated up the authoritative chain for resolution. When technical decisions result in residual safety and/or mission success risk, formal concurrence by the responsible Technical Authorities (Engineering, Safety and Mission Assurance, and/or Health and Medical) is required; refer to NPR 7120.5, section 3.3, and to section 3.4 for the dissenting opinion process.

Note: Promote commonality in the use of technical standards across NASA. As a first order, consider NASA-endorsed technical standards, accessible after login at https://standards.nasa.gov, Endorsed Standards.

3.1.2 Program and project managers shall select current versions of technical standards except when justified as impractical or incompatible with requirements and concurred with by the delegated Technical Authority.

3.1.3 Program and project managers, or designees, shall review lessons learned, including but not limited to those in the NASA Lessons Learned Information System, for applicability to current technical standards applications.

3.1.4 Program and project managers, NASA Headquarters offices, and Center Directors shall give preference to performance standards over prescriptive standards.

Note: It is understood that all of the requirements contained within a NASA technical standard may not be applicable to a specific program or project.

3.2 Tailoring of Technical Standards

3.2.1 NASA Headquarters offices and program and project managers shall:

a. Tailor, when necessary, technical standards and document necessary changes to meet specific application needs and to avoid over- or under-specification of requirements for formal approval by the delegated Technical Authority.

b. When a technical authority requirement is invoked by OCE, OSMA, and OCHMO documents (e.g., a NASA directive, Center institutional document, or other NASA requirements document) (e.g., a contract, standards cited as program or project requirements), document the traceability of the tailored requirement to the original requirement and obtain formal approval from the delegated Technical Authority as required by NPR 7120.5, NPR 7120.7, NPR 7120.8,

NPR 7120.11 for Health and Medical, and for Safety and Mission Assurance, by NPR 8715.3.

Note: Tailoring of technical standards required by law or Federal regulation requires General Counsel and NASA Technical Authority involvement.

3.3 Use of Technical Standards

3.3.1 Program and project managers shall:

a. Register to receive notification of changes to technical standards invoked as program and project requirements at https://standards.nasa.gov.

b. Review changes to invoked technical standards to determine the need for revision of program and project requirements or tailoring of technical standards.

3.4 Agency’s Annual Report on Standards

NASA Headquarters offices and Center Directors, or their designees, shall submit to the NASA Chief Engineer input for NASA’s annual report to NIST as required by OMB Circular No.

A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities, describing NASA’s use of voluntary consensus standards, participation by NASA-authorized representatives in the development or revision of voluntary consensus standards, and conformity assessment activities based on guidance issued by NIST.

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |
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This document does not bind the public, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract. This document is uncontrolled when printed. Check the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library to verify that this is the correct version before use: https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov.