Space Operations:

NASA's Use of Information Technology

IMTEC-87-20: Published: Apr 17, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided an overview of the information technology critical to the missions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal year (FY) 1986, NASA allocated about $784 million for information technology, and plans to spend about $4.1 billion on new information technology projects during FY 1987 through 1991; (2) 70 percent of the $4.1 billion will support the Space Transportation System (STS), the Space Station, and unmanned space programs; (3) STS information systems architecture is aging and potentially becoming an obstacle to operational efficiency for more complex missions; (4) NASA has not developed an integrated long-range plan for flight planning, readiness, and control systems; (5) NASA automation plans and advanced information technology efforts are not progressing as quickly as its efforts to design and build the Space Station; (6) without a commitment to set aside funds for advanced automation or to consider both estimated life-cycle costs and initial design development costs, there would be limited advanced automation on the initial space station and evolution beyond initial capabilities would be hampered; and (7) NASA has ongoing programs to improve operations in telecommunications, space science data management, and spaceflight control operations.

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