Frequently Asked Questions about the Y2K Rollover
at the NASA Glenn Research Center
Q: How will Glenn be affected by the Y2K rollover?
Glenn is confident that the computer systems it operates -- including ground tracking, mission operations, and business systems -- will not be directly affected by the Y2K dating problem. However, there are no guarantees in unprecedented situations like this. NASA employees and contractors have spent three years analyzing Glenn systems and renovating, repairing, or retiring systems that might have been affected by Y2K. Glenn believes it is ready for the Y2K rollover, but we have continued to test our equipment and procedures.
Q: What has NASA Glenn done to prepare for Y2K?
Meeting the Government-wide goals for Y2K work has required an extensive top down and bottom up review of the Center's information technology assets. All information technology assets, systems, and common infrastructure and facilities at the Center were reviewed both at our Cleveland facility, Lewis Field, and at our Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.
Q: How many computers have you tested?
Over 6000 Glenn-owned workstations and servers.
Q: How many commercial computer programs were checked?
Glenn Research Center was responsible for either testing or verifying the testing of over 6000 commercial software products used by NASA. Some 220 of these products were judged critical to the NASA mission and, though tested by their vendors, were retested at Glenn and other NASA centers to insure Y2K compliance. Updates to these critical products continue to be checked for compliance.
Q: How many noncommercial software systems were tested?
Over 80 administrative and business applications, approximately 2.9 million lines of code, have been assessed, revised, and validated. Glenn also tested its critical business applications by fully simulating processing in the year 2000.
Q: Will satellites on orbit be affected by Y2K?
The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), launched in 1993, is managed by Glenn. Satellite timers do not keep track of calendar dates, so there are no date-dependent elements in most satellite or spacecraft hardware. However, the 1993-vintage ground control computers and operating system are not compliant. Since the ACTS operation will be completed in mid-2000, a software work around was used to keep the system functioning until then. System clocks were rolled back to 1983, a year that matches the calendar of 1999. This approach avoided the major cost of replacing the computer, operating system, and software.
Q: Did Glenn have any Y2K effects with the change from fiscal year 1999 to fiscal year 2000 (September 30 - October 1, 1999)?
Glenn had only two fiscal year conversion anomalies, both in business applications' printed report headers. Both were corrected.
Q: What plans do you have for the Y2K rollover?
Glenn's Y2K team will monitor computer and safety systems and infrastructure facilities during the rollover. Before the rollover, we will backup critical data. Most systems and facilities will be turned off or on standby during the rollover. After the rollover, systems will be turned on or brought back up and tested. Contingency plans have also been developed to handle anomalies related to Y2K.
Q: How many people will be at the Center during the Y2K rollover?
A staff of 25 to 30 people will be on site to report any to NASA HQ. Another 40 persons will be on call to respond to any computer-related problems if needed.
Q: How many people would normally be working on a holiday weekend?
There are usually about 10 persons on site at Lewis Field, mostly security and emergency staff.
Q: Are any of our software programs dependent on input from other countries that may be non-compliant.
There are no systems or programs at Glenn that are dependent on input from other countries.
Q: How far into the year is Glenn likely to experience Y2K difficulties?
Glenn will be in an alert status through the first week of January 2000. The Y2K project team will remain intact until 1 April 2000 to witness the leap year rollover before we are retired.
Q: How many people have been involved in the Y2K cleanup?
Literally hundreds of people from all areas of the Center have been involved in this effort over the past 3 years.
Q: How much has the Y2K cleanup cost?
Glenn has invested approximately $5.4 million dollars to repair, replace or remediate systems and facilities affected by Y2K and to prepare business contingency and continuity plans for the rollover.