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NPD 1040.4C
Effective Date: March 11, 2024
Expiration Date: March 11, 2029
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Continuity of Operations (COOP)

Responsible Office: Office of Protective Services


a. It is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (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 in accordance with the Presidential Policy Directive 40 (PPD-40), National Continuity Policy.

b. NASA's policy is to 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 COOP.

(4) Identifying provisions for acquiring necessary resources to maintain COOP in an emergency.

(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 continuing essential functions.

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

(8) Evaluating all NASA functions 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 are 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 operations for up to 30 days.

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

(12) Develop a comprehensive test, training, and exercise program that applies the tenants of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program that reviews and tests established COOP plans and IT systems contingency plans annually to ensure viable plans while identifying and tracking corrective actions.

(13) Ensuring adequate resources are 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 compliant with the national security classification level, sensitivity, value, and criticality in accordance with NPR 1600.2, NASA Classified National Security Information (CNSI); NPR 2190.1, NASA Export Control Program; and NPR 2810.1, Security of Information, and Information Systems.

(16) Ensuring any records created during this process are managed and dispositioned according to NPR 1441.1, NASA Records Management Program Requirements.

(17) Identifying and establishing procedures to ensure the safety and accountability of personnel, contractors, and civil servants throughout an emergency.


a. This NPD applies to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers.

b. In this NPD, all mandatory actions (i.e., requirements) are denoted by statements containing the term "shall." The terms: "may" or "can" denote discretionary privilege or permission, "should" denotes a good practice and is recommended but not required, "will" denotes the expected outcome, and "are/is" denotes descriptive material.

c. In this NPD, all document citations are assumed to be the last version unless otherwise noted.


a. National Aeronautics and Space Act, as amended, 51 U.S.C. 20113.

b. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 6501-6506.

c. Executive Order (E.O.) 12148, Federal Emergency Management, 3 CFR 412 (1979), as amended by E.O. 12919, National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness, 3 CFR 901 (1994).

d. E.O. 13618 of July 6, 2012, Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.

e. PPD 21, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, February 12, 2013.

f. Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 1. United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency, January 17, 2017.


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

b. NPR 1441.1, NASA Records Management Program Requirements.

c. NPR 1600.2, NASA Classified National Security Information.

d. NPR 2190.1, NASA Export Control Program.

e. NPR 2810.1, Security of Information, and Information Systems.

f. NPR 9660.1, Vital Financial Records for Emergency Operations.

g. PPD-40, National Continuity Policy, July 15, 2016.


a. The NASA Administrator will:

(1) As directed by PPD-40, ensure that COOP planning is implemented, maintained, and tested throughout the Agency.

(2) Appoint an Agency Continuity Coordinator (ACC) at the Assistant Secretary level or higher with sufficient authority to ensure that the COOP process is included as an integral part of the Agency's core mission.

b. The ACC will:

(1) Report to the Administrator on Agency-wide continuity capabilities and planning.

(2) 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 the applicable contracting instruments through the contracting officers.

(3) Coordinate with the NASA senior leadership and national continuity leadership to ensure the organization maintains a viable and effective continuity capability.

(4) Represent the Agency on the Continuity Advisory Group and work with other Department and Agency heads to complete the Mission Essential Function and Primary Mission Essential Function identification process and advocate for the continuity program within the Agency.

c. The Agency Continuity Manager, on behalf of the ACC will:

(1) Execute the functional management of the COOP process for implementing, managing, and monitoring participation in and compliance with this directive, NPR 1040.1, and national-level directives and guidance.

(2) Oversee the day-to-day management of the continuity programs and for monitoring the direction, guidance, and best practices of both Government and the private sector to ensure the development of the most relevant and robust continuity programs. (3) Serve as the primary point of contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Continuity Programs Directorate for continuity program matters, including preparedness and operational activities, and represent the Agency at inter-agency forums and working groups.

d. Center Directors and Director, Headquarters Operations and Support will:

(1) Ensure the appropriate implementation of this policy directive and NPR 1040.1 within their respective Centers, including Component Facilities.

(2) Appoint a Center COOP Coordinator with sufficient authority to ensure that the COOP process is included as an integral part of the Center's core mission.

(3) Emphasize emergency preparedness and COOP readiness as part of the Center's core mission.

e. Each Center COOP Coordinator will:

(1) Ensure the development and consolidation of all Center-specific essential functions within their respective Centers.

(2) Coordinate with the Agency COOP Coordinator and individual organizational management on scheduling and overseeing yearly training and exercises, as required.

(3) Ensure tenant organization COOP plan development, as appropriate.

f. Each Center COOP Manager will:

(1) Appointed by the Center Chief of Protective Services and overseeing day-to-day continuity programs at their respective Centers on behalf of the Center Continuity Coordinator.

(2) Administer support to Center organizations to ensure that continuity personnel are adequately trained and facilities are appropriately equipped to execute continuity plans with little or no notice.

g. Organizational Program Management will:

(1) Evaluate their program functions, primary or supporting NASA IT systems (e.g., communications, process incoming/outgoing data, etc.), and other interdependencies for possible COOP implementation.

(2) Ensure the development, implementation, maintenance, and testing of COOP activities, when required, in accordance with requirements and other references.

(3) Coordinate all program COOP activities with the Center COOP Coordinator and Center COOP Manager.

(4) Ensure that program COOP planning is included in the organization's budget activity.

h. The Agency's Chief Financial Officer will:

(1) Ensure the identification, protection, storage, and retrieval (accessibility) of vital financial records and implement emergency financial operating plans, designation, protection, and retrieval of Center vital records in accordance with NPR 9660.1, Vital Financial Records for Emergency Operations.

i. The Agency Chief Information Officer will:

(1) Ensure the proper evaluation of NASA IT systems needed to implement COOP plans.

(2) Ensure Agency IT systems have the appropriate security and contingency plans compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act information security requirements.

j. Each Vital Records manager will:

(1) Ensure that local policies and procedures are developed and implemented for the identification, designation, protection, and retrieval of Center vital records in accordance with NPR 1441.1 and other governing requirements.






NPD 1040.4B, NASA Continuity of Operations (COOP) dated, September 22, 2009.

/s/ Bill Nelson


Attachment A. REFERENCE

a. Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 7, Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection (2003).

b. National Security Presidential Directives (NSPD) 46, U.S. Policy and Strategy in the War on Terror (Annex II) (2006).

c. NPD 1000.3, NASA Organization.

d. NPD 8710.1, Emergency Management Program.

e. NPR 8715.2, NASA Emergency Management Program Procedural Requirements.

f. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) FEMA FCDs 1 and 2, Federal Executive Branch Continuity of Operations (2017). Attachment B. ACRONYMS

ACC Agency Continuity Coordinator

ACM Agency Continuity Manager

CFO Chief Financial Officer

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

COOP Continuity of Operations

DHS Department of Homeland Security

EO Executive Order

FCD Federal Continuity Directive

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

HSPD Homeland Security Presidential Directive

IT Information technology

NPD NASA Procedure Directive

NPR NASA Policy Requirement

OPS Office of Protective Services

PPD Presidential Policy Directive

(URL for Graphic)


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.