National Aeronautics and Space Administration Should Provide the Congress with More Information on the Pioneer Venus Project

PSAD-77-65: Published: Nov 7, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 1977.

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Pioneer Venus is a space flight project designed to increase knowledge of our nearest planetary neighbor and to obtain information for solving atmospheric problems on earth. The project involves launching two spacecraft to Venus in 1978.

Costs for the project have grown and technical problems have cropped up in the project. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA'S) quality assurance policy has not been applied in this program. NASA has showing congressional attempted to cooperate with the Soviet Union in joint planetary missions, but the Soviets have chosen to restrict the relationship to one of coordinating planetary goals and exchanging the results of complete missions. European Space Agency participation in the project was anticipated, but never materialized.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Administrator of NASA should: provide the Congress with an estimate of total Pioneer Venus project costs; inform congressional committees of the amounts of project reserve funds in budget requests for new projects and of how such funds are used; provide congressional committees with information semiannually on the status of Pioneer Venus funds showing congressional authorizations, allotments, obligations, and expenditures compared to the NASA budget plan; provide congressional committees with information on the NASA and the prime contractor's current estimates of the spacecraft's contract cost at completion, causes of contract cost growth, and the NASA estimate of the maximum fee the contractors can earn at completion; direct that future Pioneer Venus project status reports include information on current problems; and review past and current actions taken under the Ames quality assurance program for the Pioneer Venus spacecraft contract to assure that the Government's interests are protected.

 

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