Page images



The National Aeronautics and Space Administration appreciates the opportunity to discuss NASA's manpower requirements. The statement covers

The NASA role and organization.
NASA's requirements for scientists and engineers.
NASA's requirements compared to national requirements.
Sources of NASA scientists and engineers.
Continuing development of manpower resources.
Need for better data on scientists and engineers.


(a) Legislative objectives

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended, provides that NASA shall

(1) Conduct research into problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere with a view to their practical solution ;

(2) Conduct such activities as may be required for the exploration, scientific investigation, and utilization of space for peaceful purposes, and develop space vehicles for use in such activities;

(3) Arrange for participation by the scientific community in planning scientific measurements and observations to be made through use of aeronautical and space vehicles, and arrange for the conduct of such measurements and observations; and

(4) Provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof. (0) Summary of NASA programs

NASA is achieving these objectives through four basic programs:

1. The manned space flight program includes work in connection with extended earth orbital flight, to develop the techniques of rendezvous and docking in space, and to undertake progressively longer missions building up to landing of ex. plorers on the moon and their safe return to earth. The work under this progam includes development of spacecraft and the procurement of launch vehicles, engines, and propulsion systems for Apollo and other approved projects.

2. The space science program includes scientific investigations of the earth, moon, sun, planets, stars, the galaxy, and space. Scientific investigations are carried out in space in the fields of aeronomy, ionospheric physics, energetic particles, and fields, stellar and galactic astronomy, solar physics and astrophysics by the use of such vehicles as earth satellites, sounding rockets, and space probes. Unmanned scientific investigations include lunar and planetary explorations through deep space probes. The unmanned lunar orbiter, for example, will map selected areas of the moon's surface to provide information for planning the manned lunar mission.

3. The applications program is concerned with identifying and developing peaceful uses of space technology for general application. This includes development of communications satellite systems such as those represented by Projects Echo, Relay, and Syncom. It also includes meteorological systems such as Tiros, and studies relating to future applications such as nonmilitary navigational aids.

4. The advanced research and technology program seeks basic knowledge and technology which will be required for future manned and unmanned flights within and beyond the earth's atmosphere. This includes research conducted primarily to demonstrate the feasibility of a concept, structure, component, or system relating to spacecraft, launch vehicles, space power, nuclear systems, electric propulsion, liquid and solid rocket propulsion, life sciences, and aeronautics.

Supporting all manned and unmanned flight missions is the tracking and data acquisition program which provides a network of stations around the world. These stations are tied together by a worldwide communications system. Tracking and data acquisition includes the development, availability, and operations of facilities, equipment, and instrumentation necessary to acquire, record, process, reduce, and transmit technical and scientific data and information in response to the requirements of aeronautical and space flight missions.

(c) NASA's organizational structure

NASA's new organizational structure became effective on November 1, 1963. The major features of this organization are

1. General management. This consists of the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Associate Administrator. They function together with a high degree of flexibility and interchangeability. However, the Administrator and Deputy Administrator concentrate more on agencywide plans and policies and on external and international relationships. The Associate Administrator functions primarily as “general manager" of day-to-day operations.

2. Consolidated program and center management.-Authority and responsibility for planning and managing NASA's major research and development programs and, in addition, for directing the overall management of NASA's research and development centers are assigned to three officials reporting to the Associate Administrator.

(a) An Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight directs this program and the overall management affairs of the three Centers primarily involved with the manned space flight program-George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Manned Spacecraft Center, and Launch Operations Center.

(b) An Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications is responsible for these two programs for which similar field installations and launch systems are employed. He is also responsible for directing the management of the Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Station, Pacific Launch Operations Office, and for administering the contract with the California Institute of Technology for the operation of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

(c) An Associate Administrator for Advanced Research and Technology is responsible for this program and for directing the efforts of the four Research Centers primarily involved in carrying out NASA's advanced research programAmes Research Center, Flight Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Lewis Research Center.

3. Research and development centers satisfy any agency requirement.-To avoid unnecessary duplication-particularly of scarce scientific and engineering talents—any center may be employed by any of the headquarters officials who are responsible for managing agency programs. For example, the Director of Tracking and Data Acquisition executes his program largely through the use of the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He does so with the agreement with the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications and by allocating funds and other resources to the required Centers.

4. Central administrative support and service elements.To avoid unnecessary duplication of staffs, to minimize review and approval levels, and to obtain uniformity where necessary, central support and service elements report primarily to the Administrator and to the Associate Administrator but serve all elements of the agency. These elements conduct such activities as procurement, personnel, financial management, legal, legislative affairs, and other activities.

NASA'S REQUIREMENTS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS During the current year, NASA has conducted studies of the requirements for scientists and engineers necessary to carry out the NASA program as authorized by the President and the Congress. These studies pertain to the requirements for scientists and engineers in NASA and by NASA contractors. These studies also include analyses of the sources of scientists and engineers recruited by NASA. The summary results of these studies and analyses are set forth in subsequent paragraphs. (a) Requirements within NASA for scientists and engineers

The following table, entitled "Requirements for Scientists and Engineers Within NASA” (table 1) shows that

1. On January 1, 1960, NASA had a total staff of 9,567, of which 3,367, or 35 percent were scientists and engineers.

2 Scientists and engineers are defined as all persons primarily engaged in the performance or direction of scientific, engineering, mathematical, or other technical professional work requiring a 4-year college major_(or equivalent knowledge) in engineering or in physical life, or mathematical science. Excluded are architects, accountants, and psychologists. Also excluded are medical doctors, veterinarians, and other life scientists primarily engaged in providing diagnosis and medical care, or dispensing drugs or services. Statisticians and computer programers are included only if they specialize in mathematical techniques. Excluded are those trained in science or engineering but currently employed in positions not requiring use of such training. Excluded are elementary and secondary school teachers of science or mathematics.

2. On January 1, 1963, NASA had 25,667 employees, of which 9,240 were scientists and engineers—or 36 percent of the total NASA staff. Assuming for planning purposes that NASA's total staff numbers between 32,000 to 40,000 in 1970, the number of scientists and engineers required within NASA is estimated at between 13,000 and 16,000, or about 40 percent of the total NASA staff.

One of the major factors that accounts for the increasing percentage of scientists and engineers within NASA is the increasing proportion of work being done by contractors. To define, contract for, and supervise contractor efforts requires a higher percentage of scientists and engineers and less technical and supporting services, such as model shop employees, mental fabrication technicians, and similar support than when the work is done within NASA research and development centers.

TABLE 1.-Requirements for scientists and engineers within NASA'

[blocks in formation]

1 Includes permanent and temporary employees 1960–63 and projected permanent and temporary positions 1964.

3 Decreases due to addition of Marshall Space Flight Center on July 1, 1960. This involved a transfer of 4,256 employees to NASA of which 1,197 were scientists and engineers, or 28.1 percent.

(0) Total requirements for scientists and engineers

Table 2, entitled “Total NASA Requirements for Scientists and Engineers," covers requirements for scientists and engineers within NASA and the requirements of NASA contractors to carry out NASA work. In summary, table 2 shows that

1. On January 1, 1960, it is estimated that 8,400 scientists and engineers were employed on the NASA program-approximately 5,000 contractor employees and 3,400 NASA employees.

2. On January 1, 1963, it is estimated that 43,500 scientists and engineers were employed on the NASA program-approximately 34,300 contractor employees and 9,200 NASA employees.

3. The ratio of NASA to contractor scientists and engineers which was approximately 1:2 in January 1960 decreased to approximately 1:3 in January 1963 and is expected to be about 1:4 in January 1964.

4. NASA's projected total requirements for scientists and engineers on January 1, 1964, increase to about 64,000, assuming present proposed budget levels and expenditure rates. Of this total, it is estimated that 53,000 will work for contractors and the remaining 11,000 will be in NASA. Assuming for planning purposes that NASA's expenditures are between $5.5 and $6 billion in 1970, the estimated requirements for scientists and engineers would be between 90,000 and 100,000, of which between 75,500 and 84,000 would be contractor personnel.

2 At present there are no actual counts of total scientists and engineers employed by NASA contractors for work on NASA contracts. A recent survey of large NASA industrial contractors has provided data which seem to be complete and reliable enough to represent the past and present, and to serve for projections. The National Science Foundation has initiated surveys by the Bureau of Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics which will provide additional data. The estimates of contractor scientists and engineers employed on NASA work have been developed on the basis of ratios of dollars to scientists and engineers. These ratios have been cross-checked against the instances where actual data are available and other studies using similar ratio techniques. The cross-checks indicate that the estimates of contractor personnel are probably accurate within plus or minus 5 to 10 percent.

TABLE 2.Total NASA requirements for scientists and engineers ?

[blocks in formation]

1 Contractor scientists and engineers include classes of positions comparable to those used within NASA. 2 Estimated. (All estimates have been rounded and therefore are not additive.)

3 NASA's program does not use up the net increase in supply to the extent these 2 columns might indicate as decreases in other aerospace business and other factors allow NASA contractors to absorb some workload without an equivalent net addition in scientists and engineers.

NASA'S REQUIREMENTS COMPARED TO NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS Total NASA requirements for scientists and engineers are set forth in table 2 above. Table 3 expresses these requirements as a percent of total national requirements. In summary this table shows that

(1) On January 1, 1960, the total NASA program employed less than 1 percent of the Nation's estimated 1.2 million scientists and engineers.

(2) NASA's total requirements are estimated to increase to 4.3 percent of total national requirements of 1.5 million by January 1, 1964.

TABLE 3.-—Total NASA requirements compared to national requirements for

scientists and engineers

[blocks in formation]

1 The data on national requirements are from preliminary estimates prepared by the Department of Labor, published in “The Manpower Report of the President,” March 1963, pp. 100 and 125, as follows: Total scientists, 1960..

335, 000 Total scientists, 1970.

580,000 Total engineers, 1960.

850,000 Total engineers, 1970..

1, 375, 000 Total scientists and engineers, 1960.

1, 185, 000 Total scientists and engineers, 1970.

1, 955, 000 This table results from a linear interpolation between the key dates of 1960 and 1970. 2 NASA estimated requirements are from table 2.

Estimates soon to be published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, place the 1970 total supply of scientists and engineers at about 1,700,000.

Assuming for planning purposes that the NASA program will require some 90,000 to 100,000 scientists and engineers by 1970, the NASA requirements at their highest during the rest of the decade will not exceed 6.6 percent of the estimated total national supply of scientists and engineers. (a) The aerospace industry's ability to absorb NASA work

NASA has made a limited survey of its largest R. & D. contractors to collect data on the number of scientists and engineers working on NASA contracts as well as the expenditures on these contracts. This survey provided an opportunity to determine the relative increases in scientists and engineers in these particular companies which were occurring as a result of NASA work. Not all the companies were able to provide data for each year. The number of companies represented in any year therefore varies. These data show that during the calendar year 1961' NASA placed an increased demand on 9 companies equivalent to 3,479 scientists and engineers. During the same year, these companies increased their total number of scientists and engineers by 4,205. There may have been some absorption of NASA work without equivalent increases in the number of scientists and engineers, but it was not revealed by this gross data. In calendar year 1962, NASA placed an increased demand on 11 companies equivalent to 8,352 scientists and engineers. These companies increased their total number of scientists and engineers by 7,708. Therefore, it appears reasonable to assume an absorption rate of approximately 8 percent for these 11 companies treated as a group. In calendar year 1963, the increase occasioned by NASA work was estimated at 4,005 scientists and engineers among 7 companies. However, these companies indicated they increased their scientific and engineering staffs by 2,899. Thus in 1963, the data indicate approximately a 28-percent absorption factor for NASA work without equivalent increases in scientific and engineering manpower.

These limited analyses therefore indicate that the aerospace industry has some ability to place scientists and engineers on new NASA work without a proportional increase in staff. This ability seems to be increasing as aerospace companies move from conceptual and preliminary design stages of the new weapons systems to the production of these systems. (6) Upgrading as a source of supply

The aerospace industry has higher than average proportions of nondegree and, apparently, even noncollege trained engineers and scientists. The Stanford Research Institute, in a 1963 study titled, “The Industry-Government Aerospace Relationships" (vol. II, p. 260), reports that 35.1 percent of those classified as professional engineers and scientists in one major aerospace company held no degree, and 11.8 percent had no college training whatsoever. A study of 14 aircraft and parts companies sponsored by the Engineering Manpower Commission found that 24.6 percent of the engineers employed in these companies were nondegree.

In summary, a considerable percentage of the scientists and engineers in industry comes from internal development of nondegree holders. This is often little understood as a source of supply of scientists and engineers. (c) The general trend in the supply of engineers

The 1963 Manpower Report of the President presents data on the 1950 and 1960 supply of engineers (p. 202). Between 1950 and 1960 the total supply of engineers rose from 526,179 to 860,949, an increase of 63.6 percent. If it is assumed that the same rate of growth will be achieved between 1960 and 1970, the supply of engineers in 1970 will be 1,408,603. This figure is almost the same as the forecasted requirement for engineers of 1,375,000 set forth on page 125 of the Manpower Report of the President.


During the 15-month period between July 1, 1961, and September 30, 1962, NASA recruited 3,710 scientists and engineers. Detailed questionnaires were -sent to all the 3,710 scientists and engineers recruited. Complete information was obtained on 3,448 of these scientists and engineers—93 percent of the total group. In summary form these findings are presented below. (a) Source by type of organization The following table (table 4) shows that

1. Sixty-six percent of the NASA scientists and engineers came from industry or the Federal Government and that the 66 percent is equally divided between Government and industry-33.1 and 32.4 percent, respectively.

2. Only 30 of the 3,448 scientists and engineers recruited were teaching professors at universities immediately prior to their employment by NASA.

3. Approximately one-quarter of the scientist and engineer recruits were new college graduates.

« PreviousContinue »