Systems Engineering Seminar

Technical Authority and Foreign Partners

Leslie Hartz
NASA XRISM Mission Systems Engineer, Code 599

Photo of Leslie Hartz

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


What do you do when you have a Technical Authority issue with a foreign partner? The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) is being built by JAXA to replace the Soft X-Ray Science that was lost when Astro-H (Hitomi) mission destroyed itself in February, 2016. Ms. Hartz first identified concerns with the Astro-H thruster based safehold at the Mission CDR, but had no direct communication path with the Astro-H project managers. A phasing error in the thruster based safehold lead to the Astro-H failure. For XRISM, NASA and JAXA restructured their partnership to give NASA a bigger voice at the project level. Because XRISM is a near rebuild of the Astro-H mission, Ms. Hartz dug into XRISM's thruster based safehold design and discovered that it still had a fundamental flaw. In this presentation, Ms. Hartz describes how she convinced a reluctant JAXA to change their safehold design.


Ms. Hartz joined NASA in 1986 as a co-op for the Johnson Space Center. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1989 and began working full time in the Structures and Mechanics Division at JSC. She worked many projects there including on the Space Shuttle, Mir Docking Program and the International Space Station. She earned her Masters of Engineering in Civil Engineering (Structural Dynamics) at Rice University. Ms. Hartz and her husband transferred to the Goddard Space Flight Center in 1998. She continued to work as a structural engineer until she became a Systems Engineer in 2005 on LRO. She has worked as a Systems Engineer on LRO, GPM, Astro-H, and DSCOVR. She is currently the NASA Mission Systems Engineer for XRISM.


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