NASA's Clipperton Project

NSIAD-96-90R: Published: Feb 6, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) involvement in a French launch vehicle development project. GAO noted that: (1) NASA involvement in the French project is limited to a safety issue concerning the reentry of the launch vehicle into the atmosphere; (2) NASA will use specialized radar to track and gather data on the launch vehicle's reentry, breakup, and impact points to facilitate reentry predictions for future flights; (3) France will reimburse NASA for its $1.39 million in estimated project costs which include NASA personnel travel costs; (4) France has deducted the cost of meals from the total reimbursable travel allowance amount; and (5) NASA has advised the Navy that the project could provide an opportunity to test the Aegis missile defense system, but the Navy has not responded to the NASA request.

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