NASA's Constellation program is developing the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle as the agency's first major efforts in a plan to return to the moon and eventually send humans to Mars. GAO has issued a number of reports and testimonies on various aspects of this program, and made several recommendations. GAO was asked to assess NASA's progress in implementing GAO's recommendations for the Ares I and Orion projects, and identify risks the program faces. GAO analyzed NASA plans and schedules, risk mitigation information, and contract performance data relative to knowledge-based acquisition practices identified in prior GAO reports, and interviewed government officials and contractors.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration||1. The new NASA Administrator should direct the Constellation program, or its successor, to develop a sound business case--supported by firm requirements, mature technologies, a preliminary design, a realistic cost estimate, and sufficient funding and time--before proceeding into implementation, and, if necessary, delay the preliminary design review until a sound business case demonstrating the program's readiness to move forward into implementation is in hand.|