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GAO10-87R:

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548:

October 15, 2009: 

Congressional Requesters: 

Subject: NASA: Briefing on National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration's Programs and Associated Activities: 

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended, established 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as the 
civilian agency that exercises control over U.S. aeronautical and space 
activities and seeks and encourages the fullest commercial use of 
space.[Footnote 1] NASA's activities span a broad range of complex and 
technical endeavors, from investigating the composition, evaluation, 
and resources of Mars; to working with international partners to 
complete and operate the International Space Station; to providing 
satellite and aircraft observations of Earth for scientific and weather 
forecasting; to developing new technologies designed to improve air 
flight safety. The agency currently engages in these endeavors against 
a backdrop of growing national government fiscal imbalance and budget 
deficits that are straining all federal agencies' resources. Although 
NASA's budget represents less than 2 percent of the federal 
government's discretionary budget, the agency is increasingly being 
asked to expand its portfolio to support important scientific missions, 
including the study of climate change. Therefore, it is important that 
these resources be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 
2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-422)--directed us to review whether NASA's 
programs and associated activities with a fiscal year 2009 funding 
level over $50 million--are duplicative with other activities of the 
federal government. We briefed the committees on the results of our 
review, and this letter summarizes that briefing, including our scope 
and methodology, which is reprinted in full as enclosure I. As agreed 
to by the committees, this concludes our work performed under this 
mandate. 

Summary: 

We identified 33 of 38 NASA programs that meet the mandate's $50 
million threshold. These programs represent about 81 percent of NASA's 
fiscal year 2009 budget and support 226 projects, each of which may 
consist of numerous types of research and related activities. We 
focused on three areas within --Science, Aeronautics Research, and 
Education--for review and excluded other activities such as space 
operations and exploration missions that are unique to NASA. We 
judgmentally selected projects and activities from each of the three 
areas and compared them against similar activities in other 
organizations. We found no apparent duplication among the selected 
projects or activities. Although we did not look at all programs within 
NASA, policies, procedures and mechanisms are in place that facilitate 
the avoidance of duplication by engaging in collaboration and 
coordination between NASA and other federal agencies. For example, NASA 
coordinates its work with other agencies by participating in formal 
groups such as the National Science and Technology Council and various 
interagency working groups. The Office of Federal Coordinator for 
Meteorological Services and Supporting Research, in conjunction with 
NASA and other federal agencies, facilitated the development of the 
Interagency Strategic Research Plan for Tropical Cyclones, which 
provides the strategy for improving the effectiveness of severe-weather 
forecasts and warnings through strategic coordination and collaboration 
among the major players working in meteorology research and 
development. NASA's Quarterly Roundtable with the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration provides opportunities for the agencies' 
leadership to discuss efforts, resolve issues, conduct joint strategic 
planning and leverage resources. NASA also participates on the Fixed- 
Wing Executive Council with the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Office of 
Secretary of Defense. The council meets with industry three times a 
year to collaborate on strategies for meeting warfighter needs. To 
provide a forum for dialogue about issues related to aeronautics 
research, NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program convenes the 
Fundamental Aeronautics Annual Meeting, attended by researchers and 
members of other federal agencies and departments. 

NASA also has established many memorandums of understanding with other 
federal agencies that mitigate duplication and assist in the 
coordination of activities. For example, the agency's memorandum of 
understanding with the National Science Foundation facilitates 
collaboration between the two agencies by coordinating their education 
efforts. The memorandum outlines each agency's roles and 
responsibilities, areas for collaboration, and how to obtain resources 
and agency expertise. NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate 
participates in multiple agreements with the Federal Aviation 
Administration, the Air Force, and other federal agencies to coordinate 
efforts in aeronautics research and to facilitate the free exchange of 
information, reduce duplication, share resources, and assist with long- 
term planning. 

There are laws, policies, and procedures in place to help NASA avoid 
duplicating the efforts of other federal agencies. The National 
Aeronautics and Space Act directs that aeronautical and space 
activities shall be conducted in ways to most effectively utilize 
scientific and engineering resources, with close cooperation among all 
interested agencies in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of 
effort, facilities, and equipment. Furthermore, NASA's Governance and 
Strategic Management Handbook provides process-related checks and 
balances ranging from peer reviews conducted at the lowest level to 
oversight reviews conducted by the agency's Program Management Council. 
[Footnote 2] NASA's procedural requirements for spaceflight programs 
and projects require project teams, in the early phases of each 
project, to assess opportunities for using technology developed by 
other government agencies, academia, and the commercial sector. 
[Footnote 3] Teams must also take into account opportunities to use the 
infrastructure and workforce in other government agencies, industry, 
academia, and international organizations. Similarly, for other 
research and technology programs and projects NASA's procedural 
requirements recommend searches of the research and technology 
literature prior to investments in new research areas in order to 
minimize duplication of effort and to look for opportunities to augment 
research and technology from other agencies.[Footnote 4] The procedures 
also require: assessments of related technology development activities 
in other NASA programs, other agencies, and the commercial sector in 
order to eliminate duplication and program status reviews and 
independent assessments. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of the enclosed briefing to NASA officials for 
their review and comment. On October 6, 2009, NASA provided technical 
comments and stated that they generally agreed with the information 
presented. 

Scope and Methodology: 

To assess policies and procedures in place to ensure that NASA's 
programs and activities are not duplicative of similar efforts within 
the federal government, we reviewed NASA policies and procedures used 
to manage and coordinate program activity and interviewed officials 
responsible for developing and implementing those policies. Also, we 
interviewed NASA officials responsible for managing partnerships and 
policy interactions between NASA and other executive branch offices and 
agencies. We reviewed background information related to the mission and 
activities of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the 
National Science and Technology Council to determine their role in 
coordinating programs and projects. To obtain additional perspectives 
on the effectiveness of coordination of research within the federal 
government, we interviewed an official from the National Science 
Foundation. 

To identify NASA programs and activities, if any, that appear to have a 
similar scope and purpose to other federal programs, we identified 33 
of 38 programs in NASA's fiscal year 2009 budget estimates that met the 
$50 million threshold in the statutory mandate. These 33 NASA programs 
support 226 projects, each of which may consist of numerous types of 
research and related activities. However, we excluded programs and 
activities from the Space Operations Mission Directorate, Exploration 
Systems Mission Directorate, and cross-agency support activities 
because their activities are unique to NASA. 

From the Education, Aeronautics Research, and Science Directorates, we 
judgmentally selected for in depth review (1) Higher Education STEM 
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), (2) Fundamental 
Aeronautics-Subsonic Fixed Wing, and (3) Earth Science projects related 
to weather research. We selected these three areas because they 
represent a range of programs and activities across NASA, appear to 
engage in activities similar to those conducted by other federal 
agencies, and have the largest funding levels within each area. 

To determine if these three areas are duplicative with other federal 
programs, we reviewed detailed information regarding selected areas and 
compared it to other activities across the federal government. 
Specifically, for Higher Education STEM we reviewed NASA's fiscal year 
2009 higher education portfolio and compared it to the descriptions of 
other federal agency programs. For Fundamental Aeronautics and Earth 
Science selected projects, we compared them to descriptions of programs 
contained in the budget estimates for Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency and/or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration. We also identified relevant coordinating bodies and 
reviewed the applicable Program Assessment Rating Tool reports because 
they include evaluations of possible duplications of any other federal, 
state, local, or private efforts. We interviewed program officials 
about formal and informal mechanisms for coordinating with other 
government agencies. The results of our analysis cannot be projected 
across NASA programs. Although we identified various coordination 
mechanisms across the federal government, we did not assess the 
effectiveness of these mechanisms. 

We conducted this performance audit from March 2009 to October 2009 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those 
standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

We are sending copies of this letter and briefing to the NASA 
Administrator and other interested congressional committees. In 
addition, these documents will be available at no charge on GAO's Web 
site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions, please contact me at (202) 512-
4841 or chaplainc@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this letter. GAO staff who made contributions to this project 
are listed in enclosure II.

Signed by:

Cristina T. Chaplain:
Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management: 

Enclosures - 2: 

List of Requesters: 

The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV:
Chairman:
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Bart Gordon:
Chair:
The Honorable Ralph M. Hall:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Science and Technology:
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords:
Chair:
The Honorable Pete Olson:
Ranking Member:
Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Committee on Science and 
Technology:
House of Representatives:

[End of section]

Enclosure I: Briefing Slides:

Briefing to Congressional Staff:

Review of Select NASA Programs and Activities:

Introduction:

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended, established 
NASA as the civilian agency that exercises control over U.S. 
aeronautical and space activities and seeks and encourages the fullest 
commercial use of space.Footnote 5] NASA’s mission is to pioneer the 
future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics 
research. Its activities span a broad range of complex technical 
endeavors from investigating the composition, evaluation, and resources 
of Mars; to working with its international partners to complete and 
operate the International Space Station; to providing satellite and 
aircraft observations of Earth for scientific and weather forecasting; 
to developing new technologies designed to improve air flight safety. 
NASA’s fiscal year 2009 budget included about $18 billion for its 
programs which cover 240 different activities. The National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-
422) required us to submit to Congress a report on NASA’s programs and 
associated activities with annual funding of more than $50 million that 
appear to be similar in scope and purpose to other activities within the
Federal government. We defined duplication as the inadvertent or 
deliberate repetition of programs, projects or research efforts with no 
benefit. This briefing addresses the following objectives:

1. What policies and procedures are in place to ensure that NASA’s 
programs and activities are not duplicative of similar efforts within 
the Federal government?

2. What NASA programs and activities, if any, appear to have a similar 
scope and purpose to other federal programs?

Summary:

* No duplication was found in areas selected for review.

* Although we did not look at all programs within NASA, policies, 
procedures and mechanisms are in place to avoid duplication.

* Policies and procedures are in place to: 
- Oversee limited program resources that further NASA’s mission.
- Avoid duplicating the efforts of other federal agencies.

* NASA personnel actively seeks to coordinate, and avoid duplication, 
with other federal agencies through: 
- Participating in the National Science and Technology Council,
interagency working groups, and other formal mechanisms.
- Developing informal working relationships across agency boundaries.

Scope and Methodology:

1. To assess policies and procedures in place to ensure that NASA’s
programs and activities are not duplicative of similar efforts within 
the Federal government, we:

* Reviewed background information related to the mission and activities 
of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science 
and Technology Council.

* Reviewed the results of the Office of Management and Budget’s Program
Assessment Rating Tool process which evaluates whether a program is 
designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other 
Federal, state, local or private effort.

* Reviewed NASA policies and procedures used to manage and coordinate 
program activity and interviewed officials responsible for developing 
and implementing those policies.

* Interviewed NASA officials responsible for managing partnerships and 
policy interactions between NASA and other U.S. Executive Branch 
offices and agencies.

* Interviewed an official from the National Science Foundation to 
obtain perspectives on the effectiveness of coordination of research 
within the federal government.

2. To identify NASA programs and activities, if any, that appear to 
have a similar scope and purpose to other federal programs, we:

* Identified 33 of 38 programs in NASA’s fiscal year 2009 budget 
estimates that meet the $50 million threshold in the statutory mandate.
- These 33 NASA programs represent about 81 percent of fiscal year 2009 
budget. 
- These programs support 226 projects, each of which may consist of 
numerous types of research and related activities.

Figure: Focus of Review:

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar graph]

Appropriation account: Science (Focus of Review); 
Appropriation: $4,503 million.

Appropriation account: Aeronautics (Focus of Review); 
Appropriation: $500 million.

Appropriation account: Education (Focus of Review); 
Appropriation: $169.2 million.

Appropriation account: Space operations; 
Appropriation: $5,764.7 million.

Appropriation account: Exploration; 
Appropriation: $3,505.5 million.

Appropriation account: Cross-agency support; 
Appropriation: $3,306.4 million.

[End of figure]

* We excluded programs and activities in certain areas that are unique 
to NASA, including:
- Space Operations Mission Directorate; 
- Exploration Systems Mission Directorate; 
- Cross-agency support activities.

We judgmentally selected three areas for in-depth review. These areas 
are:

* Education: 
1. Higher Education - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics 
(STEM).

* Fundamental Aeronautics: 
2. Subsonic Fixed Wing.

* Earth Science: 
3. Projects related to climate and weather research.

* These three areas: 
- Represent a range of programs and activities across NASA.
- Appear to have similar activities conducted by other Federal agencies.
- Have the largest funding levels within each area.

To determine if these three areas are duplicative with other Federal
programs we:

* Reviewed detailed information regarding selected areas and compared 
it to other activities across the federal government.

* For education, we reviewed NASA’s fiscal year 2009 higher education 
portfolio and compared it to other federal agency program descriptions.

* Identified relevant coordinating bodies.

* Within Fundamental Aeronautics and Earth Science we selected projects 
and compared them to program descriptions contained in the budget 
estimates for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and/or 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

* Reviewed the applicable Program Assessment Rating Tool, which 
includes an evaluation of potential duplication with any other federal, 
state, local, or private effort. 

* Interviewed program officials about formal and informal mechanisms 
used to coordinate with other government agencies.

* Interviewed officials from other agencies involved in coordinating or 
performing climate and weather-related research, including: 
- Office of Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and 
Supporting Research; 
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Limitations:

* The results of our analysis cannot be projected across NASA
programs. 

* We identified various coordination mechanisms across the Federal 
government, but we did not assess the effectiveness of those mechanisms.

We conducted this performance audit from March 2009 to October 2009 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those 
standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives.

[End of section]

Background:

Practices That Can Help Enhance and Sustain Collaboration among Federal 
Agencies:[Footnote 6]

Defining and articulating a common outcome:

* The compelling rationale for agencies to collaborate can be imposed 
externally through legislation or other directives or can come from the 
agencies’ own perceptions of the benefits they can obtain from working 
together.

Establishing mutually reinforcing or joint strategies to achieve
the outcome:

* To achieve a common outcome, collaborating agencies need to establish
strategies that work in concert with those of their partners or are 
joint in nature. Such strategies help in aligning the partner agencies’ 
activities, core processes, and resources to accomplish the common 
outcome.

Identifying and addressing needs by leveraging resources:

* Collaborating agencies should identify the human, information 
technology, physical, and financial resources needed to initiate or 
sustain their collaborative effort. Collaborating agencies bring 
different levels of resources and capacities to the effort. 
Collaborating agencies can look for opportunities to leverage each
others’ resources.

Agreeing upon agency roles and responsibilities:

* Collaborating agencies should work together to define and agree on 
their respective roles and responsibilities, including how the 
collaborative effort will be led. In doing so, agencies can clarify who 
will do what, organize their joint and individual efforts, and 
facilitate decision making. Committed leadership by those involved in 
the collaborative effort, from all levels of the organization, is also 
needed to overcome the many barriers to working across agency 
boundaries.

Establishing compatible policies, procedures, and other means to 
operate across agency boundaries:

* Agencies need to address the compatibility of standards, policies, 
procedures, and data systems that will be used in the collaborative 
effort. Furthermore, as agencies bring diverse cultures to the 
collaborative effort, it is important to address these differences to 
enable a cohesive working relationship and to create the mutual trust 
required to enhance and sustain the collaborative effort. Frequent 
communication among collaborating agencies is another means to 
facilitate working across agency boundaries and prevent 
misunderstanding.

Developing mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results:

* Agencies need to create the means to monitor and evaluate their 
efforts to enable them to identify areas for improvement. Reporting on 
these activities can help key decision makers within the agencies, as 
well as clients and stakeholders, to obtain feedback for improving both 
policy and operational effectiveness.

Reinforcing agency accountability for collaborative efforts through 
agency plans and reports:

* Federal programs contributing to the same or similar results should 
collaborate to ensure that goals are consistent and, as appropriate, 
program efforts are mutually reinforcing. Federal agencies can use 
their strategic and annual performance plans as tools to drive 
collaboration with other agencies and partners and establish 
complementary goals and strategies for achieving results. 
Accountability for collaboration is reinforced through public reporting 
of agency results.

Reinforcing individual accountability for collaborative efforts through 
performance management systems:

* High-performing organizations use their performance management 
systems to strengthen accountability for results, specifically by 
placing greater emphasis on fostering the necessary collaboration both 
within and across organizational boundaries to achieve results. 
[Footnote 7]

[End of section]

Objective 1: Policy and Process:

Various laws, policies, procedures, and mechanisms are in place to 
facilitate the avoidance of duplication, enhance collaboration and 
coordination between NASA and other federal agencies, and provide 
transparency and accountability of the processes. Specifically:

* Governmentwide coordination of science and technology;

* Governmentwide effort to enhance collaboration among federal 
agencies; 
- Program Assessment Rating Tool;

* Law, policies, and procedures;

* Transparency and accountability of processes.

Government-wide Coordination of Science and Technology:

* Office of Science and Technology Policy: 
- Established by Congress in 1976 with a mandate to advise the 
President and others on the effects of science and technology on 
domestic and international affairs and authorized to promote 
interagency efforts to implement sound science and technology policies 
and budgets. 

* National Science and Technology Council:

• Established by executive order in 1993, this cabinet-level council is 
to coordinate science and technology policy-making process for the 
entire executive branch federal research and development enterprise.

- Develops coordinated strategies into investment packages aimed at 
accomplishing multiple national research and development goals.

- The Council is organized under four primary committees:
Science; 
Technology; 
Environment and Natural Resources; 
Homeland and National Security.

Governmentwide Effort to Enhance Collaboration Among Federal Agencies:

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) developed the Program Assessment
Rating Tool (PART) as a diagnostic tool meant to provide a consistent 
approach to assessing federal programs during the executive budget 
formulation process.

PART assesses four program areas:

1. Program purpose and design: 
* Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local, or private effort?

2. Strategic planning:

3. Program management, and:

4. Program results.

In conducting a PART assessment, OMB considers, among other things, 
whether a program coordinates and collaborates effectively with related 
programs.

Table: Program Assessment Rating Tool Results for 13 NASA Programs:

Program name: Space and Flight Support; 
Last PART assessment: 2007; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: Space Shuttle; 
Last PART assessment: 2005; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: Solar System Exploration; 
Last PART assessment: 2006; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes. 

Program name: NASA Innovative Partnerships; 
Last PART assessment: 2008; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes. 

Program name: NASA Education Program; 
Last PART assessment: 2008; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes. 

Program name: NASA Earth-Sun System Research; 
Last PART assessment: 2005; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: NASA Earth Science; 
Last PART assessment: 2008; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: NASA Astronomy and Astrophysics Research; 
Last PART assessment: 2007; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: NASA Aeronautics Technology; 
Last PART assessment: 2007; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes. 

Program name: NASA Advanced Capabilities in Space Exploration; 
Last PART assessment: 2007; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes. 

Program name: International Space Station; 
Last PART assessment: 2008; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: Integrated Enterprise Management; 
Last PART assessment: 2006; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Program name: Constellation Systems; 
Last PART assessment: 2006; 
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of 
any other federal, state, local or private effort? Yes.

Source: Office of Management and Budget.

[End of table]

Relevant Law, Policies, and Procedures:

National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958:

* The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be
conducted so as to contribute materially to the most effective 
utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United 
States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the 
United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, 
facilities, and equipment. 

NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 1000.0A - Governance and Strategic
Management Handbook:

* Provides for process-related checks and balances ranging from peer 
reviews conducted at the lowest level to oversight reviews conducted by 
the agency’s Program Management Council.

NASA Procedural Requirements 7120.5D – NASA Space Flight Program and 
Project Management Requirements:

* Project teams in the early phases of a project must, among other 
things: 
- Assess the opportunities to use technology developed in other 
government agencies, academia, and the commercial sector.
- Take into account the opportunities to use the infrastructure and 
workforce in other government agencies, industry, academia, and 
international organizations.

NASA Procedural Requirements 7120.8 - NASA Research and Technology 
Program and Project Management Requirements:

* To minimize duplication of effort and to look for opportunities to
augment research and technology from other agencies, recommends a 
literature search of research and technology prior to investment in new 
R&T areas.

* Requires an assessment of related technology development activities 
in other NASA programs, other Government agencies, and the commercial 
sector to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort.

* Requires program status reviews and independent assessments.

NASA Procedural Requirements 7120.7 - NASA Information Technology and 
Institutional Infrastructure Program and Project Management 
Requirements (education falls under this section):

* Requires an education and public outreach plan, which describe 
planned efforts and activities to improve science literacy by engaging 
the public in understanding the program, its objectives, and benefits. 
Summarizes plans to stimulate interest in science, engineering, and 
technology through program-related outreach activities.

Transparency and Accountability of Processes That Help Reduce 
Duplication:

* For research and technology programs, internal and external reviews 
prior to approval, and independent assessments at least biennially.

* Technical content and performance information for programs/projects 
provided in annual budget justification.

* OMB review using Program Assessment Rating Tool.

* NASA requirement to disseminate results of science and technology 
research and development both internally and externally, where 
appropriate.

[End of section]

Objective 2: NASA Higher Education Stem:

Areas selected for review:

* Higher Education Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics;

* Fundamental Aeronautics - Subsonic Fixed Wing;

* Earth Science.

Mechanisms to help avoid duplication:

* External directives, policy, procedure, plan or law;

* NASA policy, procedure or plan;

* Coordination mechanism.

Figure: Overview of NASA’s Higher Education STEM Portfolio:

[Refer to PDF for image: chart] 

Fiscal year 2009 Enacted Funding (dollars in millions):

Top level: 
Education, $169.2.

Second level: 
K-12 Education $47.5; 
Informal Education $14.0; 
Higher Education $107.7. 
* STEM Opportunities $9.5; 
- Graduate STEM Education $5.5; 
- Undergraduate Student Research Program $4.0; 
* NASA Space Grant $40.0; 
* Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research $20.0; 
* Minority University Research and Education Project $28.2; 
- Research Cluster $10.2; 
- University Research Center $14.6; 
- Minority Institutions Collaborations $3.5; 
* Global Climate Change Education $10.0.

Source: NASA.

[End of figure]

No Duplication Found in Review of NASA’s Higher Education STEM 
Portfolio:

We reviewed NASA’s Higher Education STEM portfolio and determined it 
was not duplicative of other federal agency STEM programs.

In fiscal year 2007, 12 federal agencies, including NASA, funded 66
Higher Education STEM programs.[Footnote 8]

* The other agencies were Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, 
Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland 
Security, the Interior, and Transportation; Environmental Protection
Agency; and National Science Foundation. 

We found policies, interagency working groups, a memorandum of 
understanding, and informal coordination in place to avoid duplication 
of other federal STEM programs.

External Directives and Law:

Executive orders:

* NASA officials told us that executive orders impact how the programs 
are run and how federal agencies coordinate with each other, including 
meeting to discuss strategies and support each other.

* Three executive orders address educational excellence: 
- Hispanic Americans (Exec. Order 13230),
- Tribal Colleges and Universities (Exec. Order 13270), and
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Exec. Order 13256). 

* America Competes Act (Pub. L. No. 110-69):

* Outlines specific areas for NASA to contribute to the Nation’s 
efforts to promote innovation and competitiveness, including 
participating on the President’s Council on Innovation and 
Competitiveness and submitting an annual report to Congress regarding 
its STEM education programs.

* NASA officials told us the that law acknowledges NASA’s unique role 
in addressing the federal government’s workforce challenges.

NASA’s Internal Policies and Procedures:

* Education Strategic Coordination Framework – Coordinates the Agency’s
approach to education by aligning the education portfolio with the 
Agency’s strategic plan. 
- Creates a framework for NASA’s investments in education which use NASA
content, people, or facilities to involve and inspire educators, 
students, and the public through NASA’s unique mission, research and 
innovations. 
- NASA officials told us that by aligning their education portfolio 
with the agency’s strategic plan, they avoid duplicating efforts of 
other federal STEM education programs. 

* Education Communication Strategy – Develops an outreach campaign to 
promote NASA’s educational opportunities to inspire, engage, educate, 
and employ students, educators, and the general public about NASA’s 
exploration message.

* Education Coordinating Committee (ECC) – Serves as the overall 
planning, coordination and integration office for NASA’s educational 
portfolio. 
- Oversees programs within the Office of Education, the four mission
directorates, the 10 centers, as well as functional offices.
- Through the Assistant Administrator, the ECC is also the primary 
point of contact with other federal agencies. 

* NPR 7120.5D – NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management
Requirements (discussed on page 20).

* NPR 7120.7 - NASA Information Technology and Institutional 
Infrastructure Program and Project Management Requirements (discussed 
on page 22).

Coordination Mechanisms That Help Avoid Duplication:

National Science and Technology Council:

* Subcommittee on Education and Workforce Development (Committee on 
Science) – NASA officials told us that this is the primary interagency 
body for coordinating federal STEM education policies. 
- Member agencies meet monthly to discuss ongoing federal policy and 
coordinate agencies’ efforts. 
- The subcommittee provides opportunities for members to share program 
information across agency boundaries. 

* Subcommittee on Innovation and Competitiveness (Committee on 
Technology) – NASA officials told us that recently the subcommittee 
increased its focus on the role of STEM education for national
innovation and competitiveness which lead to an increased involvement 
by NASA’s Office of Education. 

Interagency Aerospace Revitalization Task Force:

* Established in 2006 to develop strategies for addressing challenges 
faced by the aerospace industry, including a mandate to develop 
integrated federal policies to promote STEM education and training in 
the public and private sectors as well as coordinate agency resources.

Memorandum of Understanding with the National Science Foundation:

* Facilitates collaboration and coordinates the two agencies 
educational efforts.

* Outlines each agency’s roles and responsibilities, and areas for 
collaboration and how to leverage available resources and agency 
expertise.

Other Project-Specific Interagency Working Groups:

* International Space Education Board:

* Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Interagency 
Coordinating Committee:

* Historically Black Colleges and Universities Working Group:

* Tribal College Working Group:

Informal Coordination:

* NASA officials told us that there is informal coordination at the 
working level, through relationships between agency staff members.

[End of section]

Objective 2: Aeronautics:

Figure: Overview of NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Portfolio:

[Refer to PDF for image: chart]

Fiscal year 2009 Enacted Funding (dollars in millions):

Top level:
Aeronautics, $650.0:

Second level: 
Aviation Safety, $89.3; 
Airspace Systems, $121.5; 
Fundamental Aeronautics, $307.6; 
- Subsonic Fixed Wing, $155.2; 
- Subsonic Rotary Wing, $38.9; 
- Supersonics, $55.6; 
- Hypersonics, $57.9; 
Aeronautics Test Program, $131.6; 
Integrated Systems Research[A], $0.0.

[A] New program for fiscal year 2010 that will take an integrated 
system-level approach to reduce the environmental impact of aviation in 
the area of air vehicle technologies.

Source: NASA Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Estimates.

[End of figure]

No Duplication Found in Fundamental Aeronautics - Subsonic Fixed Wing 
Portfolio:

* No duplication found in the areas we reviewed. 

* Major focus is on developing improved prediction methods and 
technologies for lower noise, lower emissions, and higher performance 
for subsonic aircraft. 

* Aeronautics research coordinated on a national level.

External Directives, Law, and Policies:

Executive Order 13419 - National Aeronautics Research and
Development:

* Supported by the accompanying National Aeronautics Research and 
Development Policy, which provides guidance for aeronautics research 
and development programs through 2020. 
- Policy prepared through collaborative, interagency process by 
National Science and Technology Council. 

America Competes Act (Pub. L. No. 110-69):

* The NASA Administrator shall coordinate NASA’s aeronautics activities 
with the relevant programs at other federal agencies, including the 
Departments of Transportation, Defense, Commerce, and Homeland Security.

National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Development and Related
Infrastructure:

* Integrated plan that the aeronautics research and development 
enterprise should pursue for research and development and related 
infrastructure.

Technical Appendix to the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and 
Development and Related Infrastructure:

* Fulfills a requirement in the plan to provide a supplemental report 
with additional technical content on aeronautics research and 
development goals and objectives as well as a preliminary assessment of 
current federal aeronautics research and development activities to 
identify areas for potential increased emphasis and any areas of 
unnecessary redundancies.

Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics (2006):

* Prioritizes research projects to be undertaken by NASA in the next 10 
years.

* Identifies national priorities for non-NASA researchers.

* Points out synergies between civil aeronautics research and research
objectives associated with national defense, homeland security, and the 
space program.

NASA’s Procedures and Plans:

* NASA Procedural Requirement 7120.8 - NASA Research and Technology 
Program and Project Management Requirements (discussed on page 21).

* Subsonic Fixed Wing Project Technical Plan; 
- Publicly available document describes NASA’s aeronautics research 
objectives for this area.

* NASA invites members of other organizations to conduct reviews of 
external work conducted under the NASA research announcements.

Coordination Mechanisms That Help Avoid Duplication:

* National Science and Technology Council: 
- Aeronautics Science and Technology Subcommittee (Committee on
Technology): Advises and assists with development of policies,
strategies, and plans relating to federally sponsored aeronautics 
research. Currently working on updating the National Plan for 
Aeronautics Research and Development and Related Infrastructure. 

* Memorandums of Understanding:

- US Air Force Flight Test Center/Air Force Research Laboratory/NASA
Dryden Flight Test Center Alliance - To reduce duplication and
replication between the Edwards Air Force Base and NASA Dryden Flight
Test Research Center, in 1995 this alliance was established and is 
cochaired by Dryden Flight Research Center Director and Edwards Air 
Force Base Commander. 
- Department of Defense - Charters the National Partnership for 
Aeronautics Testing and expands cooperation between the two and 
facilitates establishment of an integrated national strategy for 
management of the respective aeronautical test facilities.
- U.S. Air Force - Facilitates coordination of aeronautics research 
efforts between the two organizations and is intended to ensure free 
exchange of information, reduce duplication, and assist with the long-
term planning. 
- Federal Aviation Administration - Agreement to cooperate and 
collaborate in relevant areas of aeronautics and space transportation 
research.

Other Coordination:

* Fundamental Aeronautics Annual Meeting: 
- In addition to researchers, members of other agencies and departments 
often attend these meetings.

* Interagency Working Groups/Coordinating Entities:

- Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine Technology Program - 
Develops and demonstrates advanced multiuse turbine engine technologies.

- NASA-Air Force Executive Research Committee Vertical Take-off and 
Landing Science and Technology Partnership Council - Responsible for 
the executive direction and oversight of the Air Force and NASA’s joint 
aeronautics research and development efforts.

- Fixed-Wing Executive Council - Participants from Air Force, NASA, 
Army, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense meet with 
industry three times a year to discuss opportunities for collaboration
and the future national direction, and develop strategies to meet
warfighter needs.

- Joint Council on Aging Aircraft - Principal participants: NASA, Air 
Force, and Navy; purpose is to optimize effectiveness of their efforts 
in aircraft aging. 

- Vertical Take-off and Landing Science and Technology Partnership 
Council – Provides strategic direction to the Fixed and Rotary Wing 
Science and Technology Community.

[End of section]

Objective 2: NASA Earth Science:

Figure: Overview of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Portfolio 
(Dollars in millions):

[Refer to PDF for image: chart]

Top level: 
Science Mission Directorate, $4,503.0:

Second level: 
Planetary Science, $1,321.9; 
Astrophysics $1,196.4
Heliophysics $601.5; 
Earth Science, $1,383.3.

Third level, under Earth Science: 
Earth System Science Pathfinder, $81.7; 
Earth Science Research, $372.6; 
Earth Systematic Missions, $698.6; 
Earth System Multi-Mission Operations, $140.5; 
Earth Science Technology, $46.1; 
Applied Sciences, $43.8.

Fourth level, under Earth Science Research: 
Research & Analysis, $234.9; 
Near Earth Object Observations, $3.7; 
Airborne Science, $31.3; 
Computing and Management, $102.7.

Fourth level, under Earth Systematic Missions: 
Other Missions and Data Analysis, $177.4; 
Glory Mission, $29.7; 
LDCM, $149.4; 
OSTM, $0.2; 
NPP, $57.1; 
Decadal Survey Missions, $150.0; 
GPM, $125.8. 

Fifth level, under Computing and Management: 
High-End Computing, $41.9.

Fifth level, under Other Missions and Data Analysis: 
Terra, $26.2; 
Aqua, $27.3; 
Aura, $19.9; 
TRMM, $7.9; 
QuikSCAT, $3.4; 
EO-1, $2.3; 
Jason, $4.2; 
ICESat, $7.1; 
SORCE, $3.4; 
ACRIMSat, $1.5. 

Source: NASA.

Note: Fiscal Year 2009 Enacted Funding excluding funding under the 
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and rescissions.

[End of figure]

No Duplication Found in Earth Science Portfolio:

* No duplication found in areas we reviewed.

* External and internal policies promote interagency collaboration 
regarding Earth Science efforts.

* NASA coordinates with other federal agencies in attempts to avoid 
duplication through: 
- Participating in multiple interagency working groups.
- Sharing data, ideas, and resources.
- Conducting joint field experiments. 

* NASA provides a unique role in Earth Science that is leveraged by 
other federal agencies, including: 
- Sensor development.
- High-altitude aircraft systems.

Earth Science Areas Reviewed:

GAO reviewed five programs/projects under Earth Science:

* Airborne Science Program: 
- Provides aircraft systems that further science and advance the use of 
satellite data.

* Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM): 
- Measures precipitation, clouds, lightning, and radiation processes 
over tropical regions.

* Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard
Terra/Aqua: 
- Derived data products range from vegetation, land surface cover, 
ocean chlorophyll fluorescence to cloud and aerosol properties, fire 
occurrence, snow cover and land, and sea ice cover on oceans.

* Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT): 
- Records sea-surface wind speed and direction data under all weather 
and cloud conditions over Earth’s oceans.

* High-End Computing: 
- Plan and provides high-end computing systems and services to support 
NASA’s mission needs.

External Policy, Plans, and Laws:

* Interagency Strategic Research Plan for Tropical Cyclones - Provides
strategy to improve effectiveness in operational forecasts and warnings 
through strategic coordination and increased collaboration among the 
major players in the operational and research and development (R&D) 
communities. 

* US National Space Policy (2006) -States that the Secretary of 
Commerce, through both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), shall ensure to the maximum extent possible that 
civil space acquisition processes and capabilities are not duplicated. 

* Report: Earth Science and Applications from Space – National
Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond - Makes recommendations to
advance earth science research, including: 
- NASA’s support for research via orbital and suborbital platforms.
- NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey support for Earth system
modeling, including provision of high-end computing facilities.

* High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (Pub. L. No. 102-194): 
- Purpose is to help ensure the continued leadership of the United 
States in high-performance computing and its applications by improving 
the interagency planning and coordination of federal research and 
development on high-performance computing and maximizing effectiveness 
of the federal government’s high-performance computing efforts. 

* Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-549)
- Requires that NASA and NOAA monitor and submit to Congress reports on
tropospheric concentrations of chlorine and bromine and on the level of
stratospheric ozone depletion. 

* Federal Plan for High-End Computing - Specifies:
- An interagency R&D road map for high-end computing core technologies. 
- A plan to improve federal high-end computing capacity and 
accessibility. 
- Recommendations relating to federal procurement of high-end computing
systems.

NASA’s Procedures and Plan:

* NPR 7120.5D – NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management
Requirements (discussed on page 20).

* NPR 7120.8 - NASA Research and Technology Program and Project
Management Requirements (discussed on page 21).

* NASA Science Mission Directorate Science Plan 2007-2016 - Includes
the following principles: 
- Active participation from research community.
- Partnerships in achieving NASA’s science objectives and realizing 
societal benefits from NASA’s research.

Coordination Mechanisms That Help Avoid Duplication:

* Office of Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and 
Supporting Research: 
- Mission is to ensure the effective use of federal meteorological 
resources by leading the systematic coordination of operational weather 
requirements and services, and supporting research, among federal 
agencies. 

* National Science and Technology Council:

• Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction (Committee on Environment and 
Natural Resources) – Facilitates national strategies for reducing 
disaster risks and losses by providing a federal forum for sharing 
information, development of collaborative opportunities, and 
formulation of guidance for policymakers. 
• Subcommittee on Networking and Information Technology Research and
Development (Committee on Technology) – Coordinates planning, budgeting 
and assessment activities of member agencies, including NASA. 

* NASA/NOAA Quarterly Roundtable – Resulted from Section 306 of 2005 
NASA Authorization Act that directs NASA, NOAA and other agencies to 
prepare transition plans for existing and future Earth observing 
systems; NASA official stated that these roundtables help senior 
leadership remain engaged in the issues, including transition of 
satellites.

* Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation – Collaborative effort 
with NASA, NOAA, and Department of Defense dedicated to improving 
ability to assimilate satellite data.

* Interagency Coordinating Committee for Airborne Geosciences Research 
and Applications – Primary purpose to increase effective utilization of 
the federal airborne fleet in support of airborne geoscience research 
programs.

* Interagency Working Group for Airborne Data and Telecommunication
Systems – Interagency effort fostering interoperability between 
airborne platforms and instrument payloads within the government 
research community.

* U.S. Weather Research Program: Interagency effort to accelerate 
improvement in high-impact weather forecasting ability.

* Other Coordination Mechanisms: 
- NASA Science Mission Directorate has approximately 73 memorandums of 
understanding in force with over 25 federal agencies. 
- Working relationships that span agency boundaries.

[End of section]

Backup: Background:

NASA Authorization Act of 2008:

SEC. 1122. Report on NASA Efficiency and Performance:

(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
Congress a report that contains a review of NASA programs and 
associated activities with an annual funding level of more than 
$50,000,000 that appear to be similar in scope and purpose to other
activities within the Federal government, that includes:

(1) a brief description of each NASA program reviewed and its 
subordinate activities;

(2) the annual and cumulative appropriation amounts expended for each 
program reviewed and its subordinate activities since fiscal year 2005;

(3) a brief description of each Federal program and its subordinate 
activities that appears to have a similar scope and purpose to a NASA 
program; and;

(4) a review of the formal and informal processes by which NASA 
coordinates with other Federal agencies to ensure that its programs and 
activities are not duplicative of similar efforts within the Federal 
government and that the programs and activities meet the core mission 
of NASA, and the degree of transparency and accountability afforded by 
those processes.

(b) Duplicative Programs.—If the Comptroller General determines, under 
subsection (a)(4), that any deficiency exists in the NASA procedures 
intended to avoid or eliminate conflict or duplication with other 
Federal agency activities, the Comptroller General shall include a 
recommendation as to how such procedures should be modified to ensure 
similar programs and associated activities can be consolidated, 
eliminated, or streamlined within NASA or within other Federal agencies 
to improve efficiency.

Figure: Federal Obligations for Research Fiscal Year 2008:

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar chart and table]

Agency: HHS; 
Obligation: $28,781 million.

Agency: DOE; 
Obligation: $6,487 million.

Agency: DOD; 
Obligation: $6,083 million.

Agency: NSF; 
Obligation: $4,358 million.

Agency: NASA; 
Obligation: $3,195 million.

Agency: USDA; 
Obligation: $1,807 million.

Agency: Other; 
Obligation: $3,999 million.

Field of Science: Environmental; 
HHS: $435 million; 
DOE: $326 million; 
DOD: $326 million; 
NSF: $734 million; 
NASA: $730 million; 
USDA: $16 million; 
Other: $841 million.

Field of Science: Life; 
HHS: $23,359 million; 
DOE: $320 million; 
DOD: $712 million; 
NSF: $649 million; 
NASA: $184 million; 
USDA: $1,469 million; 
Other: $840 million.

Field of Science: Math and computer; 
HHS: $184 million; 
DOE: $920 million; 
DOD: $958 million; 
NSF: $849 million; 
NASA: $56 million; 
USDA: $19 million; 
Other: $144 million.

Field of Science: Physical; 
HHS: $392 million; 
DOE: $2,450 million; 
DOD: $728 million; 
NSF: $829 million; 
NASA: $854 million; 
USDA: $91 million; 
Other: $262 million.

Field of Science: Social and psychology; 
HHS: $1,924 million; 
DOE: $0 million; 
DOD: $70 million; 
NSF: $203 million; 
NASA: $13 million; 
USDA: $143 million; 
Other: $552 million.

Field of Science: Engineering; 
HHS: $937 million; 
DOE: $2,461 million; 
DOD: $3,007 million; 
NSF: $789 million; 
NASA: $1,202 million; 
USDA: $64 million; 
Other: $799 million.

Field of Science: Other; 
HHS: $1,550 million; 
DOE: $10 million; 
DOD: $282 million; 
NSF: $304 million; 
NASA: $157 million; 
USDA: $4 million; 
Other: $562 million.

Source: National Science Foundation, January 2009. 

Note: Fiscal year 2008 projected current dollars in millions.

[End of figure]

Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs:

Based on our review of the fiscal year 2009 budget submission, we 
determined that there were 38 programs in four mission directorates 
[Footnote 9] and a mission support office. Each Mission Directorate can 
support a theme, which can support a program, which can support a 
project.

Figure: Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs:

[Refer to PDF for image: chart]

Top level: 
Mission directorate:

Second level: 
Theme:

Third level: 
Program:

Fourth level: 
Project:

Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs – Science Mission Directorate (SMD):

Table: SMD supports 4 themes and 22 programs:

Area: SMD; 
FY07 (Actual): $4,609.9; 
FY08 (Actual): $4,733.2; 
FY09 (Enacted): $4,903.0; 
FY10 (Requested): $4,477.2. 

Area: Earth Science: 6 programs - 55 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $1,198.5; 
FY08 (Actual): $1,237.4; 
FY09 (Enacted): $1,704.6; 
FY10 (Requested): $1,405.0. 

Area: Planetary Science: 6 programs - 50 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $1,215.6; 
FY08 (Actual): $1,312.6; 
FY09 (Enacted): $1,325.6; 
FY10 (Requested): $1,346.2. 

Area: Heliophysics: 5 programs - 47 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $830.8; 
FY08 (Actual): $787.6; 
FY09 (Enacted): $591.6; 
FY10 (Requested): $605.0. 

Area: Astrophysics: 5 programs - 43 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $1,365.0; 
FY08 (Actual): $1,395.6; 
FY09 (Enacted): $1,281.2; 
FY10 (Requested): $1,120.9.

[End of table]

Earth Science Theme: 
1. Earth Science Research; 
2. Earth Systematic Missions; 
3. Earth System Science Pathfinder; 
4. Earth Science Multi-Mission Operations; 
5. Earth Science Technology; 
6. Applied Sciences.

Planetary Science Theme: 
1. Planetary Science Research; 
2. Discovery; 
3. New Frontiers; 
4. Mars Exploration; 
5. Outer Planets; 
6. Technology.

Astrophysics Theme: 
1. Astrophysics Research; 
2. Cosmic Origins; 
3. Physics of the Cosmos; 
4. Exoplanet Exploration; 
5. Astrophysics Explorer.

Heliophysics Theme: 
1. Heliophysics Research; 
2. Living with a Star; 
3. Solar Terrestrial Probes; 
4. Heliophysics Explorer Program; 
5. New Millennium.

Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs – Aeronautics Research Mission 
Directorate (ARMD):

Table: ARMD supports one theme and four programs:

Area: ARMD; 
FY07 (Actual): $593.8; 
FY08 (Actual): $511.4; 
FY09 (Enacted): $650.0; 
FY10 (Requested): $507.0. 

Area: Aeronautics: 4 Programs – 12 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $593.8; 
FY08 (Actual): $511.4; 
FY09 (Enacted): $650.0; 
FY10 (Requested): $507.0. 

[End of table]

Aeronautics Theme: 
1. Aviation Safety; 
2. Airspace Systems; 
3. Fundamental Aeronautics; 
4. Aeronautics Test Program.

Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs – Exploration Systems Mission 
Directorate (ESMD):

Table: ESMD supports two themes and five programs:

Area: ESMD; 
FY07 (Actual): $2,869.8; 
FY08 (Actual): $3,229.4; 
FY09 (Enacted): $3,905.5; 
FY10 (Requested): $3,963.1. 

Area: Constellation Systems: 2 programs – 8 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $2,114.7; 
FY08 (Actual): $2,675.9; 
FY09 (Enacted): $3,433.2; 
FY10 (Requested): $3,505.4. 

Area: Advance Capabilities 3 programs – 7 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $755.1;
FY08 (Actual): $623.5; 
FY09 (Enacted): $472.3; 
FY10 (Requested): $457.7. 

[End of table]

Constellation Systems Theme: 
1. Constellation Systems Program; 
2. Commercial Crew and Cargo.

Advanced Capabilities Theme: 
1. Human Research Program; 
2. Exploration Technology Development; 
3. Lunar Precursor Robotic Program.

Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs – Space Operations Mission Directorate 
(SOMD):

Table: SOMD supports three themes and six programs:

Area: SOMD; 
FY07 (Actual): $5,113.5; 
FY08 (Actual): $5,427.2; 
FY09 (Enacted): $5,764.7; 
FY10 (Requested): $6,175.6.

Area: Space Shuttle: 1 program – 1 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $3,315.3; 
FY08 (Actual): $3,295.4; 
FY09 (Enacted): $2,981.7; 
FY10 (Requested): $3,157.1.

Area: International Space Station: 1 program – 1 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $1,469.0; 
FY08 (Actual): $1,685.5; 
FY09 (Enacted): $2,060.2; 
FY10 (Requested): $2,267.0. 

Area: Space and Flight Support: 4 programs – 4 projects;
FY07 (Actual): $329.2; 
FY08 (Actual): $446.2; 
FY09 (Enacted): $722.8; 
FY10 (Requested): $751.5.

[End of table]

Space Shuttle Theme: 
1. Space Shuttle Program,

International Space Station: 
1. International Space Station Program.

Space and Flight Support Theme: 
1. Space Communication and Navigation.
2. Launch Services.
3. Rocket Propulsion Test.
4. Crew Health and Safety.

Overview of NASA’s 38 Programs – Office of Education:

Table: The Office of Education supports one theme and one program:

Area: Education; 
FY07 (Actual): $115.9; 
FY08 (Actual): $146.8;
FY09 (Enacted): $169.2; 
FY10 (Requested): $126.1. 

Area: Education: 1 program – 11 projects; 
FY07 (Actual): $115.9; 
FY08 (Actual): $146.8; 
FY09 (Enacted): $169.2; 
FY10 (Requested): $126.1. 

[End of table]

Education Theme: 
1. Education.

[End of section]

Backup: NASA Earth Science:

Office of Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and 
Supporting Research (OFCM):

* The Department of Commerce formed OFCM in 1964. OFCM’s mission is to 
ensure the effective use of federal meteorological resources by leading 
the systematic coordination of operational weather requirements and 
services, and supporting research, among the federal agencies. 

* OFCM carries out its tasks through an interagency staff working with
representatives from the federal agencies who serve on program councils,
committees, working groups, and joint action groups. 

* OFCM hosts annual Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference where 
information is gathered and shared among agencies, academia, and the 
private sector.

[End of section]

Abbreviations:

ACRIMSAT: Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite:

ARMD: Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate:

DOD: Department of Defense:

EO-1: Earth Observing-1:

ESMD: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate:

GPM: Global Precipitation Measurement:

ICESat: Ice, Clouds, and Land Elevation Satellite:

LDCM: Landsat Data Continuity Mission:

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

NPD: NASA Policy Directive:

NPP: National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System 
(NPOESS) Preparatory Project:

NPR: NASA Procedural Requirements:

OFCM: Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and 
Supporting Research:

OMB: Office of Management and Budget:

OSTM: Ocean Surface Topography Mission:

PART: Program Assessment Rating Tool:

QuikSCAT: Quick Scatterometer:

SMD: Science Mission Directorate:

SOMD: Space Operations Mission Directorate:

SORCE: Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment:

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics:

TRMM: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission:

[End of section]

[End of enclosure]

Enclosure II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments:

GAO Contact: 

Cristina T. Chaplain (202) 512-4841 or chaplainc@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, James L. Morrison, Assistant 
Director; John J. Barrett; Kristine R. Heuwinkel; Susan E. Neill; Jose 
A. Ramos; Bradley L. Terry; and Kristin M. Van Wychen made key 
contributions to this report. 

[End of enclosure]

Footnotes:

[1] Pub. L. No. 85-568 § 102 (b) and (c) (1958) (codified as amended at 
42 U.S.C. § 2451(b) and (c)). 

[2] NASA Policy Directive 1000.0A (Aug. 1, 2008). 

[3] NASA Procedural Requirements 7120.5D, NASA Space Flight Program and 
Project Management Requirements (Mar. 6, 2007). 

[4] NASA Procedural Requirements 7120.8, NASA Research and Technology 
Program and Project Management Requirements (Feb. 5, 2008). 

[5] Pub. L. No. 85-568 § 102 (b) and (c) (1958) (codified as amended at 
42 U.S.C. § 2451(b) and (c)). The Department of Defense retains the 
activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of 
weapon systems, military operations, or the defense of the United 
States. Id. at § 102.

[6] GAO, Results-Oriented Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance 
and Sustain Collaboration among Federal Agencies, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-15] (Washington, D.C.: October 2005).

[7] GAO, Results-Oriented Cultures: Creating a Clear Linkage between 
Individual Performance and Organizational Success, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-03-488] (Washington, D.C.: March 14, 
2003).

[8] Department of Education, Report of the Academic Competitiveness 
Council (Washington, D.C., 2007).

[9] NASA’s four mission directorates are Science Mission Directorate, 
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, Exploration Systems Mission
Directorate, and Space Operations Mission Directorate. 

[End of section] 

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