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NPR 8735.2C
Effective Date: March 12, 2021
Expiration Date: March 12, 2026
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Hardware Quality Assurance Program Requirements for Programs and Projects (Updated w/Change 1)

Responsible Office: Office of Safety and Mission Assurance

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

Appendix A. Definitions

Certified item, part, or material: An item, part, or material with endorsement by the supplier, user, or NASA that the item meets all engineering and quality requirements defined by the acquisition requirements and engineering documentation.

Certified personnel: A person who the endorsing organization has found to meet the special conditions established by that endorsing organization for demonstrating a specific skills competency (e.g., welding, X-ray inspection). Certification requirements typically combine successful training with periodic retraining and monitoring to ensure operator error rate is sustained below some defined limit.

Complex item: Items that have quality characteristics, not wholly visible in the end item, for which contractual conformance must be established progressively through precise measurements, tests, and controls applied during purchasing, manufacturing, performance, assembly, and functional operation either as an individual item or in conjunction with other items. By contrast, noncomplex items have quality characteristics for which simple measurement and test of the end item are sufficient to determine conformance to contract requirements.

Covered articles: Information technology, as defined in U.S. Federal Code 40 USC 11101, is any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information by an executive agency.

It also includes computers, ancillary equipment (including imaging peripherals, input, output, and storage devices necessary for security and surveillance), peripheral equipment designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer, software, firmware, similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.

Critical: Pertaining to mission or stakeholder priority. Criticality may be driven by crew safety objectives, engineering objectives, science objectives, programmatic objectives (i.e., schedule and budget constraints), regulatory requirements, and other stakeholder objectives including preservation of property (e.g., do no harm to facilities, launch vehicles, the International Space Station, host payloads).

Critical item: A critical item is one which, if defective or fails, directly contributes to a failure to meet crew safety, technical, programmatic, regulatory, or other stakeholder objectives. Also, see the definition above for Critical.

Critical process: An activity performed by NASA, hardware suppliers, or services suppliers during mission hardware development, manufacturing, testing, integration, launch preparations, launch, commissioning, operations, and decommissioning that, if defective or fails to achieve the intended results, directly contributes to a failure to meet crew safety, technical, programmatic, regulatory, or other stakeholder objectives. Also, see the definition above for Critical..

Crosscutting quality requirements: Quality requirements that would apply to a range of programs and projects and that are not unique to a single program or project. This term is used in reference to the institutional quality requirements expected to be included in the QMS documentation.

Engineering documentation: Documentation of the item's or process' attributes that define conformance and are foundational to realizing the item's or process' intended performance and reliability. Examples are specifications, data sheets, work orders, and drawings.

First-party: The supplier.

Government Mandatory Inspection Point: Terminology used for the point in the work flow at which the Government executes a quality assurance surveillance activity in the interest of contract administration and where that surveillance activity must be completed before continuing the production flow. GMIPs are associated with an "oversight" surveillance approach in NFS 1846.4. The term is often used as a substitute for a specific description of the surveillance activity itself (i.e., engineering documentation review, product inspection, a process witness, or review of verification data). The FAR states that GMIPs are performed on behalf of the Government-acquiring activity without regard to the tier level of the supply chain (for additional information, see 48 CFR ยง 46.401.(a)). While Government acceptance of the product at the source (prior to shipment to the Government) is also an aspect of contract administration, acceptance work is not considered a GMIP.

Inherited item: An item whose design, manufacturing processes, and application will not be changed to fully comply with program or project requirements in order to take advantage of the availability and lower cost of existing, already-built units (e.g., spares), or the cost-savings from leveraging off of qualification or verification pedigree previously established for the product (i.e., heritage).

Latent defect: A physical condition of an item that is capable of causing the item to fail in its application and is not detected prior to mission execution. The cause of a lack of detection is either due to a failure to apply a relevant inspection or test or the lack of availability of inspections or tests that can discern the presence of the defect.

Manufacturability: The likelihood that an item can be produced to conform with its design, construction, and performance specifications.

Mission hardware: Items made of a material substance that make up, or are integrated into, spacecraft, launch vehicles, or aircraft used to execute a NASA mission.

Non-government: JPL and all other entities assigned project office responsibilities who are not part of the Federal Government.

Non-NASA: All entities assigned project office responsibilities who are not part of the Federal Government except JPL. JPL is considered a NASA entity (i.e., NASA Center).

Proximate cause: The event that occurred, including any conditions existing immediately before the undesired outcome, directly resulting in its occurrence, and if eliminated or modified, would have prevented it. Also, known as direct cause.

Quality assurance: Processes, activities, and functions that evaluate successful realization of product conformance and realization of the quality controls planned for maximizing and determining process or product conformance.

Quality assurance products: Documents and records produced for establishing and executing the QA program as well as documents and records that result from executing the QA program.

Quality engineering: Processes, techniques, and functions used to define and apply process quality controls and conformance verification methods that maximize product or process conformance with physical specifications.

Red line: Change to engineering documentation (e.g., specifications, drawings, procedures, work instructions) after they have been fully released for use.

Repair: Action on a nonconforming product to make it acceptable for the intended use.

Rework: Action on a nonconforming product to make it conform to the requirements.

Second-party: Action performed by the acquirer.

Special process: Process that results in a condition of conformance that cannot be fully verified by means of nondestructive inspection at the point of acceptance and, thus, assurance of conformance is attained through adherence to process control specifications and verifying compliance incrementally during production. Also, see definition for complex.

Supplier: Any entity who is manufacturing or processing hardware in accordance with the requirements herein, including NASA Centers and NASA contractors.

Supply chain: All suppliers associated with an item from its constituent raw materials through to the last supplier to process it prior to its final use in the intended application. The supply chain consists of the prime contractor, who has a procurement agreement directly with NASA, and all of their suppliers, who are referred to as subcontractors or sub-tier suppliers. Distributors, brokers, and services providers are considered part of the supply chain. NASA Centers who directly manufacture and process mission hardware are considered part of the supply chain.

Tailoring: The process of selecting applicable requirements from a standard baseline to create a custom set that is appropriate for a specific project's objectives and constraints.

Third-party: An entity who is independent of the supplier and the acquirer.

Traceability: The degree to which a relationship can be established between two or more products of the development process, especially products having a predecessor-successor relationship to one another; for example, the degree to which quality requirements relate to procurement requirements and then to the evidence of product conformance; or the ability to relate integrated hardware systems to the production history of their constituent subassemblies, parts, and materials.

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