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Program Overview

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The mission of the NASA Technical Standards Program is to:

  • Promote technical excellence and further mission success by enhancing NASA's technical capabilities through standardization.
  • Facilitate participation in development of voluntary consensus standards and their adaptation for use to meet NASA's needs.
  • Manage development of NASA technical standards, specifications, and handbooks to meet NASA's unique needs.
  • Provide the NASA community with access to essential standards, specifications, and other documentation, related application notes, and lessons learned; notifications when changes to these documents occur; and access to engineering tools from a single access point, thereby saving NASA time and money.

The NASA Technical Standards Program is sponsored by the NASA Chief Engineer.

"Standards" or "Technical Standards" Definition

Various means of standardization used to achieve and maintain desired levels of compatibility, interchangeability, or commonality within NASA and with industry practices. "NASA Technical Standards" are technical standards, specifications, and handbooks developed and approved for use by NASA Headquarters' offices.


  • OMB Circular No. A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards
    and in Conformity Assessment Activities"
  • NPD NASA Procedural Directive 7120.4, "NASA Engineering and Program/Project Management Policy"
  • NPR NASA Procedural Requirements 7120.10, "Technical Standards for NASA Programs and Projects"


  • Enhance technical capabilities and safety across NASA by leveraging best practices representing the most current proven technology to mitigate risks.
  • Promote NASA's use of voluntary consensus standards and facilitate participation in their development.
  • Manage development of NASA Technical Standards to meet NASA's unique needs when voluntary consensus standards cannot be adapted or do not exist.
  • Provide a single-point, eAuthorization access, "one-stop shop" NASA Technical Standards System ( NTSS NASA Technical Standards System ) for all authorized NASA users, updated daily, to:
    • Access full-text technical standards from Standards Developing Bodies and related lessons learned and application notes essential to the Agency.
    • Access on-line, unlimited, electronic desktop standards via subscriptions to Standards Developing Bodies and to ordering non-subscription documents via pay-by-the-document orders, all at no cost to the user.
    • Promote selection and tailoring of technical standards for use as program and project requirements, including standards designated as NASA-Endorsed Technical Standards.
    • Notify users electronically of changes to designated technical standards to verify version in use is current and to determine if changes impact program/project requirements.
    • Access various engineering tools.
  • Improve interoperability within and external to NASA.
  • Educate, inform, and guide NASA programs.