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NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects
GAO-10-227SP: Published: Feb 1, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 2010.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to invest billions in the coming years in science and exploration space fl ight initiatives. The scientifi c and technical complexities inherent in NASA's mission create great challenges in managing its projects and controlling costs. In the past, NASA has had diffi culty meeting cost, schedule, and performance objectives for many of i...
Briefing on Commercial and Department of Defense Space System Requirements and Acquisition Practices
GAO-10-315R: Published: Jan 14, 2010. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2010.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has had long-standing difficulties developing and delivering space systems on time and within budget. Some programs have been delayed by years and cost billions of dollars more than their initial estimates. Attempts to reform DOD space acquisitions in the past have sought to leverage commercial approaches or rely more on the commercial sector to meet DOD needs. Thes...
International Space Station: Significant Challenges May Limit Onboard Research
GAO-10-9: Published: Nov 25, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 2009.
In 2010, after about 25 years of work and the expenditure of billions of dollars, the International Space Station (ISS) will be completed. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the ISS crew will then be able to redirect its efforts from assembling the station to conducting research. In 2005, Congress designated the ISS as a national laboratory; in addition, the NAS...
Federal Research: NASA Should Better Inform Researchers about How to Appeal Dissemination Decisions
GAO-10-200: Published: Dec 3, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 2009.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers generally disseminate their agency-funded research results through publications, presentations, agency releases, and media interviews. In 2007, GAO reviewed dissemination policies at NASA and two other agencies and found that NASA's policies were generally clear, but GAO's survey of NASA researchers raised concerns that many of them...
Commercial Space Transportation: Development of the Commercial Space Launch Industry Presents Safety Oversight Challenges for FAA and Raises Issues Affecting Federal Roles
GAO-10-286T: Published: Dec 2, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2009.
Since the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on the commercial space launch industry in 2006, the industry has evolved and moved further toward space tourism. Commercial space tourism promises to make human space travel available to the public for the first time. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees the safety of commercial space launches, licensing and monitoring the sa...
Defense Acquisitions: Challenges in Aligning Space System Components
GAO-10-55: Published: Oct 29, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2009.
The Department of Defense (DOD) expects to spend more than $50 billion to develop and procure eight major space systems. Typically, the systems have two main components: satellites and ground control systems. Some also have a third component--user terminals--that can allow access from remote locations. If the delivery of these three components is not synchronized, there can be delays in providing...
NASA: Briefing on National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Programs and Associated Activities
GAO-10-87R: Published: Oct 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2009.
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. NASA's activities span a broad range of complex and technical endeavors, from investigating the composition, evaluation...
Information Security: NASA Needs to Remedy Vulnerabilities in Key Networks
GAO-10-4: Published: Oct 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2009.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) relies extensively on information systems and networks to pioneer space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. Many of these systems and networks are interconnected through the Internet, and may be targeted by evolving and growing cyber threats from a variety of sources. GAO was directed to (1) determine whether NASA ha...
NASA: Constellation Program Cost and Schedule Will Remain Uncertain Until a Sound Business Case Is Established
GAO-09-844: Published: Aug 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2009.
NASA's Constellation program is developing the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle as the agency's first major efforts in a plan to return to the moon and eventually send humans to Mars. GAO has issued a number of reports and testimonies on various aspects of this program, and made several recommendations. GAO was asked to assess NASA's progress in implementing GAO's...
Biological Research: Observations on DHS's Analyses Concerning Whether FMD Research Can Be Done as Safely on the Mainland as on Plum Island
GAO-09-747: Published: Jul 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is the most highly infectious animal disease known: nearly 100 percent of exposed animals become infected with it. Although the United States has not had an outbreak of FMD since 1929, a single outbreak of FMD virus as a result of an accidental or intentional release from a laboratory on the U.S. mainland could have significant consequences for U.S. agriculture. The tr...