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FAQ for J-STD-001ES Adoption

Frequently Asked Questions about J-STD-001FS Adoption

NASA has adopted IPC J-STD-001FS for all Programs and Projects, effective on October 17, 2011.  The NASA standards for soldering, NASA-STD-8739.2 and NASA-STD-8739.3, are cancelled as of October 17, 2011.  NASA-STD-8739.6, Implementation for NASA Workmanship Standards was published in 2012 to provide additional instructions for implementation of J-STD-001FS on NASA Programs.


Contact Gerd Fischer, ph: 301-286-9668, for status about, or to provide inputs to, NASA's position on the applicability of J-STD-001 or J-STD-001FS, or parts therein, to NASA's missions.

1.        Does my project have to start using J-STD-001FS as of October 17, 2011?

No, if:  your project established its Level II mission assurance requirements prior to October 17, 2011.

Yes, if: your project established its Level II mission assurance requirements after October 17, 2011.

All “new” Programs and Projects shall invoke J-STD-001FS instead of NASA-STD-8739.2 and NASA-STD-8739.3 for soldering in their Level II mission assurance requirements.

2.        If my Project’s Level II requirements already call out the NASA standards for soldering does their cancellation affect me?

No.  The Project and its suppliers should continue to comply with the established mission assurance requirements.  NASA-STD-8739.2 and NASA-STD-8739.3 can still be obtained from without a user account (public domain).  However, be aware that the supply chain may have moved on to using J-STD-001FS for soldering and will want allowance to work to the IPC standard instead of the NASA standards (See #3 and #8 below).

3.       As a supplier, if I am under contract for soldering to the NASA standards, can I use the J-STD-001ES instead?

Only if the Project allows it; the Project decides.  Substitution with J-STD-001FS is not automatically allowed.  NASA HQ policy on Workmanship does not act to contradict or modify existing contracts.  See NASA-STD-8739.6 for opportunities Projects have for allowing use of J-STD-001FS on old contracts without waiver.

4.        As a Project Manager, can I accept J-STD-001FS from a supplier if the Level II requirements specify the NASA soldering standards?

Yes.  This is now codified in NASA-STD-8739.6.  

5.        As a Project Manager, can I modify the Level II requirements to allow the use of J-STD-001FS?

Yes.  You can add the J-STD-001FS along with the NASA soldering standards or you can replace the NASA soldering standards with J-STD-001FS.

6.       As a Project Manager, can I baseline the NASA soldering standards instead of J-STD-001FS on new Projects if I think the former are “better”?

Not without a waiver from NASA OSMA.  For all new Programs and Projects, J-STD-001FS will be baselined in the Level II mission assurance requirements.

7.        J-STD-001FS has a section on polymeric applications.  Will J-STD-001FS be used to replace NASA-STD-8739.1?

Not at this time.  NASA-STD-8739.1 will still apply for polymeric applications (staking, conformal coating, bonding, encapsulation).  Chapter 10 of J-STD-001FS will not be used for NASA Programs and Projects. 

8.       If I am using old drawings and hiring new companies to build, repair, or rework to those existing drawings, can I accept work to the J-STD-001FS on that old hardware?

Yes.  This is now codified in NASA-STD-8739.6.   Whenever this mix of old standards and new standards occurs one might need to be mindful of ways that inspections to the new standard may find defects that the old standard allowed (or vice versa).  These conditions should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in light of the hardware’s performance criteria and mission operating conditions.  The acceptability of J-STD-001FS means that using it as an inspection standard will ensure that high-risk defects are not allowed. 

9.       I want to continue to use the NASA soldering standards, which are my Level II requirements, but my inspector staff is trained to J-STD-001FS.  How might inspections to J-STD-001FS requirements affect the reliability of the hardware?

The J-STD-001FS requirements are considered as good as or better than the NASA soldering standard requirements.  See 8. above for concerns regarding holding the hardware to a higher standard during inspection than during production.  It should be noted that the Workmanship Standards provide a consistent baseline for minimum product quality and do not guarantee product reliability. 


10.   What training should I take?

NASA will allow two approaches to training:


a.        IPC modular course taught by a certified IPC trainer (CIT, or MIT).  Operators must take Module 1 (global requirements), Module 6 (Space requirements), and a minimum of one other module (2: Wire Prep and Terminals, 3: Through Hole, 4: Surface Mount).  Inspectors must take Module 1, Module 5 (Inspection and Process Control), and Module 6.  All quality classes are taught (Class 1, 2, and 3).  An IPC training certificate is awarded that is portable.


b.      “Home grown” course taught by a certified CIT or MIT.  Home grown courses are subject to review and approval by NASA.  No IPC training certificate is awarded.


11.  The IPC used to offer a "non-modular" Class 3 + Space class.  What happened to it?


In May of 2014 NASA was notified by the IPC that they are no longer going to support the (32hr) NASA developed J-STD-001 class 3/space non-modular class. IPC stated that The J-001 Space program covers all of the same items as the limited program.  The use of the non-modular class by the customer base was too small for the IPC to continue to support it administratively and it was phased out during the summer of 2015.  Users of the non-modular class should begin teaching the regular J-STD-001 training class with the space addendum for certifications. Operators should take the J-STD-001 modular class with the space addendum. Inspectors should take the inspector training class (Modules 1, 5, & 6 for Inspectors).


12.   Will the students be exempted from having to learn the information on IPC J-STD-001FS Chapter 10 (polymeric applications)?

Not if the commercial training course is taken (10a. or 10b. above).  Each student taking the commercial course must take the whole class and must pass the class for all of the material.  The polymerics applications information may be left out of a home grown course.

13.   Will students have to retake J-STD-001FS training when they leave one company and go to work at another company?

The IPC training is portable.  The IPC will provide the trainer with certifications that are given to students who successfully complete the course.  The following considerations apply:


a.        Since the modular course does not automatically come with all of the modules (students choose one or more of modules 2,3,4 and 5) one employer may require more modules than a prior employer.


b.      Home grown courses are not recognized by the IPC and are not considered portable.  No IPC training certificate will be awarded for home grown course completion.

14.    Once the student finishes the IPC J-STD-001FS course, are they certified to work on NASA flight hardware? 

The Workmanship policy in NASA-STD-8739.6 no longer uses operator and inspector certification requirements however the supplier continues to be responsible for the competency of the operators and inspectors it employs.  Training on a 24 month schedule continues to be a requirement (visual acuity is a prerequisite).

15.    As a supplier, should I continue to have my operators and inspectors maintain their NASA soldering standard training?

That depends on the type of NASA contracts your company is engaged with now and in the future.  Consult with your NASA customer to determine if there is an opportunity to convert your workforce to the J-STD-001FS during the period of the existing contract and for applicable follow-on contracts for existing systems.  For hardware for new Projects, NASA will require those Projects to flow down J-STD-001FS and not the NASA soldering standards.

16.    Where can I obtain J-STD-001FS training?

Many training centers exist for J-STD-001FS including the NASA Level A training centers (at JPL and GSFC) and the NASA Level B training centers at JSC and MSFC.  The course materials are obtained directly from the IPC.

17.    Is there a paragraph-by-paragraph comparison between the NASA soldering standards and the J-STD-001FS?

No. Requirements found in the NASA soldering standards were introduced into the J-STD-001CS, DS, DS Amendment 1, and ES.  Over these revisions NASA performed a gap analysis and risk assessment to ensure that all critical requirements from the NASA soldering standards are included in the current revision of J-STD-001FS. 

18.    What are the biggest differences between the NASA soldering standards and the J-STD-001FS?

One big difference is that design requirements from the NASA soldering standards are not found in the J-STD-001FS.  The Workmanship Standards are being focused on process and product quality issues.  The Office of Chief Engineer has technical authority for design issues.  Another big difference is that the J-STD-001FS contains requirements for some new interconnect technologies such as ball grid arrays and column grid arrays. An overview of what is "new" in J-STD-001ES compared to NASA-STD8739.2/.3 is here:  LINK.


19.    The NPD 8730.5 references a old revision of the IPC J-STD-001xS.  Can I use the most current one on my Level II mission assurance requirements and on my contracts?

Impacts and options associated with the enabling the Agency policy to track with updates to the J-STD-001xS revision letter are being examined.  Until further study and decisions are achieved, NPD 8730.5 will continue to carry a specific revision letter.  Contact OSMA for further instructions.