Space Station:

Status of Financial Reserves

NSIAD-92-279: Published: Jul 20, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) financial reserves to offset unanticipated contingencies associated with the high-risk Space Station Freedom program.

GAO found that: (1) NASA has $2.1 billion in reserves remaining from its revised 1992 budget of $16.6 billion for the program; (2) NASA reduced its reserves by $1.1 billion for unfunded program requirements, including avionics and software safety requirements testing, tracking and flight hardware equipment testing, a ground user data management collection and distribution system, and design changes to the U.S. laboratory and propulsion modules to enhance meteoroid and orbital debris protection; (3) $166 million of the $2.1 billion in reserves remain available for fiscal years 1993 and 1994; (4) program officials suggest that greater management and stricter cost controls will be adequate to cover future contingencies and alleviate concern about limited resources; and (5) the program's critical design review is incomplete, and potential problems place limited financial reserves at risk of reduction because of program content, delayed schedules, and increased costs.

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