Space Shuttle:

Readiness of the Transoceanic Abort Landing Sites

NSIAD-89-22: Published: Dec 16, 1988. Publicly Released: Dec 28, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the operational readiness of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) transoceanic abort landing (TAL) sites to support space shuttle missions.

GAO found that NASA: (1) currently has one TAL site each in Morocco and Gambia and two in Spain; (2) completed operational readiness inspections of the sites, focusing on navigational and communications equipment installation and testing, availability of trained personnel for mission support and operations, rescue personnel, plans and procedures, and security arrangements, all prior to the September 29, 1988, shuttle mission; (3) identified security problems at the Moroccan site and problems with the installation of an arresting barrier at the Gambian site; (4) provided 33 security personnel to cover the shuttle launch through an interim agreement with Morocco, although Morocco later provided 135 additional security personnel; (5) believes that Morocco will require it to fund only the 33 security personnel agreed upon in the negotiations and has renewed its efforts to negotiate a long-term security agreement for future shuttle launches; (6) completed the installation of the arresting barrier at the Gambian site; and (7) is exploring the possibility of stationing a NASA-supported official in Morocco to administer its local affairs.

Sep 8, 2016

Jul 27, 2016

Jul 22, 2016

Jun 22, 2016

Mar 30, 2016

Feb 25, 2016

Dec 17, 2015

Dec 10, 2015

Oct 8, 2015

Looking for more? Browse all our products here