And if NASA decides to go to Mars and beyond, it will need to develop the hardware necessary to explore these strange new worlds.
(Excerpted from GAO-16-612)Beam me up, Scotty
The commercial spaceflight industry is preparing for lift off. Blue Origin has successfully launched a vehicle that could take people to space and several hundred people have already placed deposits for rides on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
While not yet under the United Federation of Planets, these companies must adhere to the rulings of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is currently responsible for overseeing the safety of commercial space launches, including space tourism.
But without shields, blasters, and other Trek-worthy inventions, how will FAA keep the public safe? FAA will need to issue launch licenses and conduct safety inspections at new and proposed launch sites across the country.
(Excerpted from GAO-15-706)The Next Generation Finally, we haven’t audited Starfleet Academy, but we have explored some of the challenges the next generation of workers faces, such as mission-critical skills gaps in cybersecurity and other key areas, and the 21st century challenge of rising retirements. And while Wesley Crusher may have scored on-the-job training on the Enterprise, not all millennials are so lucky—which is why we have a Key Issue page dedicated to Employment in a Changing Economy. Also, should we decide to cooperate in interstellar investigations with alien species, we could build off of the idea of federal interagency rotational assignments—hosting intergalactic auditors and sending our staff off to learn from far-flung supreme audit institutions. Now, who wants the rotation aboard a Klingon warship?