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Group picture of the failure analysis laboratory team that deals with failure testing, material testing, electrical testing, and counterfiet testing.
Faisal Ali

Failure Analysis Laboratory

About the Lab

NASA Johnson Space Center is home to a nationally accredited inspection and test facility. The RITF provides testing, evaluation services, and training to the aerospace community and industry.

As a unique laboratory with a wide range of both electrical and mechanical testing, analysis, and training capabilities, the RITF is developing new, collaborative partnerships. The facility specializes in failure mitigation through electrical and mechanical component screening and materials validations, and in failure analysis by conducting non-destructive and then increasingly invasive techniques as needed to determine the cause/mechanism of failure. Other services provided include “hands-on” training to engineers, technicians, and inspectors in the areas of soldering, surface mount technology (SMT), crimping, conformal coating, fiber-optic terminations, and electrostatic discharge (ESD).


JSC ESD Testing and Verification Office

The function of the ET&V Office is to inspect and certify JSC facilities handling ESD Sensitive (ESDS) materials. This includes evaluation, qualification, and periodic verification testing of ESD protective materials and devices. Examples include ionizers, antistatic packaging materials, ESD garments, and tools. The ET&V Office was established per JPR 8730.1 which has been replaced by JSC 66552, “ESD Requirements for the Protection of Electrical and Electronic Parts, Assemblies, and Equipment” as a responsibility of the JSC Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate, managed by the Quality and Flight Equipment Division (NT). It is operated through the Failure Analysis Laboratory.

ET&V Office Lead Officer: Cuong “Henry” Pham

Phone: 281.483.0175


FAL offers customized service

Steps of ProcessSummary of Process
Define and Collaborate
Fully Define the Problem
Our technical leads and engineers will meet with customers to gain background knowledge of the hardware, planned applications, schedule restrictions, and application knowledge of requirements such as those defines for ISS hardware, industry standards, and drawings to formulate test and analysis requirements.

The initial meeting sets the stage for identifying the specific work that the customer wants.

What tests are needed?
Are there any special set up needs?
Build and Execute the Plan
Setups and Fixtures
The RITF specializes in meeting customer expectations and creating individualized plans.

We work with customers to build unique tests if needed. This can include not only the procedures but the fabrication of test fixtures. Customers can come in and be part of the test set up phase. The RITF approach respects and includes the customer’s expertise and preferences.
Deliver Results
Provide Test Feedback
Our team can determine product compliance to the appropriate specifications. We test to the applicable aerospace, military, and industry standards such as:

ASTM F 606 / F 606 M
Standard Test Methods for Determining the Mechanical Properties of Externally and Internally Threaded Fasteners, Washers, Direct Tension Indicators, and Rivets

NASM 1312-13
Fastener Test Methods for Double Shear Tests
This standard is focused on the details surrounding double shear testing of fasteners.

NASM 1312-8
Standard Practice, National Aerospace Standard, Fastener Test Methods, Method 8, Tensile Strength, ASTM E8, Tension Tests of Metallic Materials
In order to meet our customers’ needs we work with them to ensure the proper testing is done that will provide the appropriate feedback to allow them to make informed decisions.

Training Classes

Request Training

Contact Karen Churchwell
NASA Johnson Space Center
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, Texas 77058

FAL Capabilities and Services

Contact Information


Receiving Inspection and Testing Facility

NASA Johnson Space Center

2101 NASA Parkway

Houston, TX 77058





Larry Sikes…………….281.483.0366


Cheryl Corbin…………281.244.8423

Quality Manager

Deborah Applegate….281.483.0288

Electrical Testing Lead

David Dao……………..281.483.0276

Mechanical Testing Lead

Melanie Fleck………..281.483.0218

Training And Certification

Karen Churchwell……281.483.0666