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Rules for the Design, Development, Verification, and Operation of Flight Systems

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The GOLD Rules are intended to apply to all space flight projects (and where applicable, associated ground projects) regardless of implementation approach or mission classification (except where explicitly noted). Although not required, an a priori Mission Exceptions List (MEL) may be proposed at the start of a Program and/or Project, to highlight rules which may not apply to that mission. If a MEL is submitted and approved, waivers will not be required for exceptions covered by the MEL unless changes occur to the underlying basis for exception. For rules that include multiple elements (e.g., “test as you fly”), waivers and exceptions are
valid for the specific elements indicated in a MEL or waiver and do not constitute a global approval to waive all elements of that rule. Other exceptions that arise during execution of the mission still require waivers, as appropriate. A MEL approved at the program level for multi project programs will be reviewed at key points in the program lifecycle (e.g. at the release of a new Announcement of Opportunity) to validate its applicability for new Projects within that program. Projects may choose not to apply GOLD Rules to
internal constituents of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) items and Projects should not apply GOLD Rules to standard components with established reliability. (See definition in “Glossary and Acronym Guide” at the end of this document.) Such items should be selected based on (1) successful past history and known vendor capabilities or (2) the fact that the product is the only available solution, in which case, the risk should be assessed and tracked by the project. GOLD Rules apply to commercial (not off-the-shelf)
procurements to the extent that the rules are placed into contracts. (Note: by definition, if GSFC chooses to change COTS developer processes for an item, the item is no longer COTS.)

GSFC Rules are governed by GPR 8070.4, which also describes the process for submitting waivers. A technical authority designated for each rule will be responsible for requirements validation, rationale verifications, related guidance and lessons learned, and participation in the evaluation of proposed changes and waivers. Note, for any rule listing multiple owners, the project should work any waiver requests with the owner designated as “primary” and it will be the responsibility of the “primary owner” to get concurrence from the other owners or subject matter experts.
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Last modified by:  Fred McMullen
Last modified on:  Sat, 10/14/2023 - 21:54


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