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During this same period JPL was participating in another portion of the Jupiter project known as the Jupiter C. This was an elongated Redstone missile with solid propellant, high speed, upper stages developed and furnished by JPL. The Jupiter C was used to launch a scaled-down version of the Jupiter ablation nose cone and duplicate the reentry velocities of the 1,500-nautical-mile Jupiter missile nose cones. This portion of the project was completed successfully after two firings, and the six Jupiter C's that were on hand in varying stages of fabrication and assembly were put in mothballs.
Within 6 months, JPL and Dr. von Braun's team were called upon to launch Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite, using the mothballed Jupiter C's and an added fourth stage consisting of a single solid rocket and the satellite itself. The satellite contained the radiation-measuring experiment originally designed by Dr. James A. Van Allen for the Vanguard IGY program and repackaged by JPL to fit in the long, narrow, cylindrical Explorer I satellite.
The early Explorers were followed by Pioneer III and IV which consisted of a Jupiter missile as the first stage and the same upper stages as the Jupiter C in order to attain escape velocity and "flyby" the moon. Responsibility for the upper stages and the deep space probe with its experiments remained with JPL. Pioneer III did not achieve escape velocity; however, its 64,000-mile flight out into space and back resulted in the discovery of the outer Van Allen radiation belt. Pioneer IV did attain escape velocity and is now in orbit around the sun. In order to meet the extremely severe weight limitations in both the Explorer and Pioneer, Mr. Frank Lehan and Dr. Eberhardt Rechtin of JPL developed the microlock communications system, the forerunner of the telecommunications system used in the Ranger and Mariner projects.
Following the transfer of JPL from the Army to NASA in December 1958, there was a rapid reorientation of our efforts from missile weapon system projects to lunar and planetary exploration projects. However, the basic policies and philosophy of project management remained unchanged.
A logical outgrowth of this philosophy has been the development of a technical discipline organization as the basic structure of JPL. Shortly after our transfer to NASA, the Laboratory called upon the management consultant firm of McKinsey & Co., Inc., to perform a study of the organization and management of JPL in light of the need to reorient our efforts from missile weaponry to the space sciences and deep space probes. The study was completed in September 1959 and the implementation of many of its recommendations was initiated immediately thereafter.
One of the results of this study was the establishment of the matrix concept of project management. Under this concept the line organization of the technical staff consists of seven technical discipline divisions, and the project organization is superimposed across the technical divisions. Anticipating the assignment of a number of very similar projects to be conducted during identical or overlapping time frames, it was recognized that the best utilization of our key technical personnel and the application of their knowledge, experience, and know-how to a number of concurrent projects would be realized under this matrix concept. Such an arrangement enables JPL to apply the entire capability of the appropriate technical discipline organization to a problem immediately upon its appearance. In addition, this organizational setup leads to a cross-fertilization of knowledge, ideas, and experience among the various projects and between the projects and research personnel in each technical discipline. Thus, project management at JPL is conducted under a matrix concept very similar to those employed by Argonne Laboratory of the University of Chicago, Marshall Space Flight Center; Martin-Orlando, Hughes Aircraft Corp., and many other industrial firms.
Under the matrix concept employed at JPL for the execution of projects, the project manager is responsible for the supervision and integration of all systems of the project—i.e., the spacecraft system, the launch vehicle system, the space flight operations system, and the tracking and data acquisition system-and for assuring the proper and timely solution of interface problems between the four systems. Inhouse technical support and technical management of JPL subsystem subcontractors is furnished to the project manager by the technical discipline organization. In addition, the Procurement Division performs the contract negotiation and administration for the project managers and the technical discipline organizations; the Financial Management Division performs price analyses and does the auditing of subcontractors for the project managers and the technical discipline organization; and the project managers are furnished project control and analysis support by the Management Information Office.
NASA-JPL RELATIONSHIPS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
When the Government sponsorship of JPL was transferred from the Army to NASA in December of 1958 by President Eisenhower under the provisions of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, JPL immediately established a detailed working relationship with NASA Headquarters. At that time it was agreed that JPL would continue to execute its projects and manage them under the same policies that had been in existence at the Laboratory.
In January 1961, NASA formalized and established its concepts of planning and implementation of flight projects through the issuance of general management instruction 4-1-1. Under this policy, one of the key documents controlling a project is the project development plan. I believe the management relationships between NASA and JPL can best be described by the following direct quotations from the Ranger block III project development plan.
"(1) Headquarters direction.-The NASA, Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) is responsible for overall direction with respect to the Ranger project. The basic organization of the OSSA is shown in figure 1(a).
“(2) Project management.-The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is assigned the responsibility of project management for the Ranger project. The basic organization of JPL is depicted in figure 2(a).
"(3) Vehicle system management.—The Lewis Research Center is assigned the Atlas-Agena launch vehicle system management responsibilities.
"(4) Spacecraft system management.-The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is assigned the Ranger spacecraft system management responsibilities.
"(5) Space flight operations system management.-The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is assigned space flight operations system management responsibilities.
"(6) Deep space instrumentation facility system management.-The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is assigned DSIF system management responsibility."
The specific responsibilities of each element of the Ranger project management structure are defined in detail, and a summary of these responsibilities is set forth below.
Headquarters direction of the project is conducted at three levels of the Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA). The first of these is the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications.
"His program management responsibilities are:
"(1) Overall program development, including estimates of resource requirements.
"(2) Continuing technical direction of approved programs and projects. "(3) Continuing evaluation of program and project status.
"(4) Continuing leadership in external and interagency relationships.
"(5) Selection of experiments and experimenters for scientific missions." The second level of responsibility is vested in the Director of the Lunar and Planetary Programs Division whose specific areas of responsibility are:
"(1) Program development.-The Division Director will recommend to the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications:
"(a) The programs and projects he believes should be undertaken to achieve specific NASA objectives.
"(b) Estimates of fund requirements for assigned programs with respect to program content, mission-oriented technical facilities, and mission schedules.
"(c) Guidelines for submission of financial operating plans with respect to program content, mission-oriented technical facilities, and mission schedules. "(2) Program direction. The Division Director is assigned the following authority and responsibility for direction of his assigned programs:
"(a) Issue instructions (formal correspondence and informal communications) to field centers in the execution of approved projects.
"(b) Resolve technical problems which arise between centers regarding conduct of a project which falls within his area of responsibility.
"(c) Recommend to the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications, the approval of financial operating plans, the placemeent of funds, and the reprograming of funds to support programs within his assigned area.
"(3) Program evaluation.—The Division Director is responsible to the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications, for :
"(a) Continuing evaluation of program and project status in terms of project management; technical progress; resource utilization; and significant or technical achievements.
"(b) Recommending necessary changes in program policy, emphasis, and balance.