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February 22, 1996

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center
(713) 483-5111

Ray Melton
White Sands Test Facility
(505) 524-5773

Release: 96-006

WSTF to Receive Vice President's Reinventing Government Award

NASA's White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, New Mexico, will be recognized for exceptional progress in reinventing government with the presentation of a Hammer Award from Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review at 8:30 a.m. March 4, 1996, at the South Shore Harbour Conference Center in League City, Texas.

WSTF, a component of the Johnson Space Center, Houston, has become one of the first government and industry partnerships in the world to become certified under a new, rigorous program of international quality control standards by the International Standards Organization (ISO). The certification, called the Quality System Standards of ISO 9001, will greatly enhance the facility's preeminence in the international aerospace marketplace. The ISO 9001 principles encompass management responsibilities, customer relations, design, calibration and testing, and they designate a common framework for production and service corporations throughout the world.

"It is just common sense that these standards that provide high quality products for the world market are good enough for our government," said Bob Stone, Project Director of the National Performance Review.

WSTF received the certification in October 1995, and shares the certification with its contractor partners, headed by Allied Signal1s Technical Services Corporation division at WSTF. Although other government agencies and private companies have received the certification, WSTF is the first joint government and industry certification, as well as the first NASA installation to be certified.

"This achievement by WSTF demonstrates NASA's and JSC's continuing dedication to obtain the highest quality performance," said JSC Director George Abbey. "They are to be commended for leading the way for the agency."

The Hammer Award will be presented to WSTF by Stone during the opening remarks of the Fourth Annual Conference on Quality in the Space Industry, to be held in League City March 4-5. News media are invited to attend.

WSTF is located 20 miles northeast of Las Cruces and employs 59 NASA civil service personnel and a team of over 480 contractor employees. The facility performs sophisticated laboratory and field tests on rocket propulsion systems and materials in potentially hazardous environments such as high-pressure oxygen and exposure to high-energy chemical rocket propellants. WSTF was built in the early 19601s to support the Apollo Program, and it has performed a crucial role in the development and operation of every U.S. human space flight program since.


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