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NPR 8715.3D
Effective Date: December 16, 2021
Expiration Date: December 21, 2026
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA General Safety Program Requirements

Responsible Office: Office of Safety and Mission Assurance

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |

APPENDIX A. Definitions

Accident. A severe perturbation to a mission or program, usually occurring in the form of a sequence of events, that can cause safety adverse consequences, in the form of death, injury, occupational illness, damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment.

Assessment. Review or audit process, using predetermined methods, that evaluates hardware, software, procedures, technical and programmatic documents, and the adequacy of their implementation.

Assurance. Providing a measure of increased confidence that applicable requirements, processes, and standards are being fulfilled.

Audit. Formal review to assess compliance with hardware or software requirements, specifications, baselines, safety standards, procedures, instructions, codes, and contractual and licensing requirements.

Catastrophic. (1) A hazard that could result in a mishap causing fatal injury to personnel, and/or loss of one or more major elements of the flight vehicle or ground facility. (2) A condition that may cause death or permanently disabling injury, major system or facility destruction on the ground, or loss of crew, major systems, or vehicle during the mission.

Center SMA Director. As used in this directive, this term includes all Center management personnel designated by the Center Director to implement SMA audits, reviews, and assessments requirements.

Critical. A condition that may cause severe injury or occupational illness, or major property damage to facilities, systems, or flight hardware.

Emergency. Unintended circumstance bearing clear and present danger to personnel or property which requires an immediate response.

Exposure. (1) Vulnerability of a population, property, or other value system to a given activity or hazard; or (2) other measure of the opportunity for failure or mishap events to occur.

Factor of Safety (Safety Factor). Ratio of the design condition to the maximum operating conditions specified during design (see also Safety Margin and Margin of Safety).

Fail-Safe. Ability to sustain a failure and retain the capability to safely terminate or control the operation.

Failure. Inability of a system, subsystem, component, or part to perform its required function within specified limits.

Failure Tolerance. Built-in capability of a system to perform as intended in the presence of specified hardware or software failures.

Functional Redundancy. A situation where a dissimilar device provides safety backup rather than relying on multiple identical devices.

Hazard. A state or a set of conditions, internal or external to a system that has the potential to cause harm.

Hazard Control. Means of reducing the risk of exposure to a hazard.

Independent Verification and Validation. Test and evaluation process by an independent third party.

Inhibit. Design feature that prevents operation of a function.

Mission Assurance. Providing increased confidence that applicable requirements, processes, and standards for the mission are being fulfilled.

Mission Success. Meeting all mission objectives and requirements for performance and safety.

Nuclear Flight Safety Assurance Manager (NFSAM). The person in the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance responsible for assisting the project offices in meeting the required nuclear launch safety analysis/evaluation.

Operability. As applied to a system, subsystem, component, or device is the capability of performing its specified function(s) including the capability of performing its related support function(s).

Operational Safety. That portion of the total NASA safety program dealing with safety of personnel and equipment during launch vehicle ground processing, normal industrial and laboratory operations, use of facilities, special high hazard tests and operations, aviation operations, use and handling of hazardous materials and chemicals from a safety viewpoint.

Oversight. The transition in NASA from a strict compliance-oriented style of management to one which empowers line managers, supervisors, and employees to develop better solutions and processes.

Precursor. An occurrence of one or more events that have significant failure or risk implications.

Programs. For the purposes of this NPR the term "programs" is interpreted to include programs, projects, and acquisitions.

Quality. The composite of material attributes including performance features and characteristics of a product or service to satisfy a given need.

Radiological Control Center (RADCC). A temporary information clearinghouse established on an as-needed basis to coordinate actions that could be required for mitigation, response, and recovery of an incident involving the launching of nuclear material.

Range Safety. Application of safety policies, principles, and techniques to ensure the control and containment of flight vehicles to preclude an impact of the vehicle or its pieces outside of predetermined boundaries from an abort which could endanger life or cause property damage. Where the launch range has jurisdiction, prelaunch preparation is included as a safety responsibility.

Redundancy. Use of more than one independent means to accomplish a given function.

Reliability. The probability that a system of hardware, software, and human elements will function as intended over a specified period of time under specified environmental conditions.

Reliability Analysis. An evaluation of reliability of a system or portion thereof. Such analysis usually employs mathematical modeling, directly applicable results of tests on system hardware, estimated reliability figures, and non-statistical engineering estimates to ensure that all known potential sources of unreliability have been evaluated.

Residual Risk. The level of risk that remains after applicable safety-related requirements have been satisfied. In a risk-informed context, such requirements may include measures and provisions intended to reduce risk from above to below an acceptable level.

Risk. The combination of (1) the probability (qualitative or quantitative) of experiencing an undesired event, (2) the consequences, impact, or severity that would occur if the undesired event were to occur and (3) the uncertainties associated with the probability and consequences.

Risk Management. An organized, systematic decision-making process that efficiently identifies, analyzes, plans, tracks, controls, communicates, and documents risk to increase the likelihood of achieving project goals.

Risk (Safety) Assessment. Process of qualitative risk categorization or quantitative risk (safety) estimation, followed by the evaluation of risk significance.

Safety. Freedom from those conditions that can cause death, injury, occupational illness, damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment. In a risk-informed context, safety is an overall mission and program condition that provides sufficient assurance that accidents will not result from the mission execution or program implementation, or, if they occur, their consequences will be mitigated. This assurance is established by means of the satisfaction of a combination of deterministic criteria and risk criteria.

Safety Analysis. Generic term for a family of analyses, which includes but is not limited to, preliminary hazard analysis, system (subsystem) hazard analysis, operating hazard analysis, software hazard analysis, sneak circuit, and others.

Safety Analysis Report (SAR). A safety report of considerable detail prepared by or for the program detailing the safety features of a particular system or source.

Safety Analysis Summary (SAS). A brief summary of safety considerations for minor sources; a safety report of less detail than the SAR.

Safety Critical. Term describing any condition, event, operation, process, equipment, or system that could cause or lead to severe injury, major damage, or mission failure if performed or built improperly, or allowed to remain uncorrected.

Safety Device. A device that is part of a system, subsystem, or equipment that will reduce or make controllable hazards which cannot be otherwise eliminated through design selection.

Safety Evaluation Report (SER). A safety report prepared by the INSRP detailing the INSRP's assessment of the nuclear safety of a particular source or system based upon INSRP's evaluation of the program-supplied SAR and other pertinent data.

Safety Margin. Difference between as-built factor of safety and the ratio of actual operating conditions to the maximum operating conditions specified during design.

Safety Oversight. Maintaining functional awareness of program activities on a real-time basis to ensure risk acceptability.

Safety Program. The implementation of a formal comprehensive set of safety procedures, tasks, and activities to meet safety requirements, goals, and objectives.

Serious. When used with "hazard," "violation," or "condition," denotes there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.

System Safety. Application of engineering and management principles, criteria, and techniques to optimize safety and reduce risks within the constraints of operational effectiveness, time, and cost throughout all phases of the system life cycle.

System Safety Manager. A designated management person who, qualified by training and/or experience, is responsible to ensure accomplishment of system safety tasks.

Validation. (1) An evaluation technique to support or corroborate safety requirements to ensure necessary functions are complete and traceable; or (2) the process of evaluating software at the end of the software development process to ensure compliance with software requirements.

Verification (Software). (1) The process of determining whether the products of a given phase of the software development cycle fulfill the requirements established during the previous phase (see also validation); or (2) formal proof of program correctness; or (3) the act of reviewing, inspecting, testing, checking, auditing, or otherwise establishing and documenting whether items, processes, services, or documents conform to specified requirements.

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |
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