NASA - Employee Orientation
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First Day Experience


Welcome to NASA!

Your First Day Experience - Employee

20 Steps for a Successful First Day

Congratulations on being selected to work at NASA! You are beginning a career of innovation and discovery and will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of explorers. You can begin connecting with your new community through public networking sites or collaborate via one of the many blogs focused on a discipline or work area at

Your Supervisor, Sponsor, and a team of functional experts (IT, Human Capital, Security) are preparing for your arrival. The following list will help you make sure you are prepared for a successful first day as a member of the NASA Team.

  1. Contact your NASA Sponsor and Supervisor prior to your first day to confirm your arrival and to ask any last minute questions.
  2. Your Center will be processing a number of new employees, contractors, and guests each day.  Arrive early at the Security Office (or Visitor’s Center) to avoid any delays.
  3. In most locations when you arrive at Security, you will be provided an employee badge, map, safety, traffic, parking instructions, and directions to the in-processing location. If they are not provided—ask for them if you need to.
  4. Security rules may be a bit more rigorous than you are accustomed. Be sure to park in designated areas and be prepared for a full vehicle search. Some locations may check for proof of insurance. Regulations prohibit bringing weapons, hazardous materials, alcohol, or contraband drugs on to the Center.
  5. While each new employee, including transfers, goes through the onboarding process, first-time civil servants have a few extra steps. Be prepared, follow instructions, and ask questions if you have them. We appreciate your cooperation and patience during this process as we help you start your career in the federal government.
  6. If you’re ride sharing, please remember at most Centers, family members and friends are not allowed on site without clearance and a visitor’s badge. Check with your NASA Sponsor or Supervisor for your Center’s requirements ahead of time
  7. Most Centers’ in-processing lasts the morning of your first day. Plan accordingly and enjoy getting to know your Center.
  8. You will meet your Supervisor, colleagues and perhaps other Senior Managers, so dress to make a positive first impression.
  9. Ensure that you bring any supporting documentation that was requested by your Human Resources (HR) Point of Contact (POC) or your offer letter. (e.g. proof of degree, etc.)
  10. Ensure that you have completed any Security forms that were requested. Incomplete Security forms could impact your start date.
  11. Onboarding requirements may vary by NASA Center. Please check with your HR POC for any additional information required by your Center.
  12. Complete new hire forms in accordance with the due dates identified in the USA Onboarding system prior to your arrival. These forms take a considerable amount of time to complete and could significantly delay your onboarding. Note: Benefit and Insurance forms are not required to be completed prior to your arrival.
  13. Entrance onto your Center will require two forms of government issued identification (e.g. driver’s license, social security card) or a US passport.  For a complete list of acceptable forms of ID, go to the following website:
  14. Prior to your first day, a Caseworker from the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) will contact you to schedule your in-processing and benefits counseling as applicable to your appointment type. The Caseworker will be your single point of contact throughout the duration of your in-processing. Additional benefit information is found at (
  15. To ensure the timely receipt of your pay check, please complete and submit your Standard Form (SF) 1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-Up, W-4 Federal tax withholding form, and if applicable, the State Tax form on USA Onboarding.
  16. The “401K” for Federal employees is the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).  Information related to the Federal TSP can be found at
  17. When you arrive at your new workspace, take the initiative to introduce yourself; let your new colleagues know who you are.  Your assigned NASA Sponsor will be able to assist you in getting oriented to your new workspace.  They will be more than willing to help you get settled in.
  18. Engage right away! Your Center will have a variety of activities (team meetings, conferences, tours, training, and organization specific events) scheduled. Ask your NASA Sponsor or Supervisor for suggestions of events you can attend in your first week.
  19. NASA wants you to have a positive onboarding experience and an exceptional first day on our team!  At the end of the day, meet with your Supervisor and ask for any additional assistance that you need.
  20. Be sure to sign up for your Center Orientation event which is usually held once a quarter. Contact your HR POC or Onboarding office for complete details.

Welcome to NASA!  We look forward to working with you.


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