STATEMENT OF TASK
Committee for Review of Oversight Mechanisms for Space Shuttle Flight Software Processes
The Committee will review and critique NASA's Shuttle Flight-Software validation and verification process, by assessing the entire Flight Software development process from the initial requirements definition phase to final implementation, including object code build and final machine loading.
The Committee will review and critique NASA's independent and embedded validation and verification process and mechanisms, including those mechanisms for enforcement of NASA's established software development and testing standards. It will take into consideration the process document prepared by Intermetrics, Inc., the recent GAO report, and NASA's recommendations in response to the GAO report.
The Committee will determine the acceptability and adequacy of the embedded validation and verification processes through comparison with (1) generally accepted industry practices, and (2) generally accepted Department of Defense and/or other government practices (comparing organizations/projects with similar volumes of software development, software maturity, complexity, criticality, lines of code, national standards, etc.).
The Committee will consider whether or not independent validation and verification should continue. It will consider the role an IV &V contractor might play, but it will not assess the performance of Intermetrics, Inc.
The Committee will document the results of its assessment of NASA 's V&V in a progress report to accompany a briefing to the NASA Headquarters management. A final report on the adequacy and acceptability of the entire software-development process will be prepared as well, and a briefing to Headquarters management will be delivered. Recommendations, if any, will be prioritized and include supporting rationale. The reports will undergo normal NRC report review processes.