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Priority Open Recommendations: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

GAO-22-105726 Published: Jul 20, 2022. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2022.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 9 priority open recommendations for NASA as of June 2022. For example, in December 2019, we recommended that NASA create a life-cycle cost estimate for the Artemis III mission, which will return U.S. astronauts to the surface of the moon.

Since our previous letter in June 2021, NASA implemented 4 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In June 2021, GAO identified 11 priority recommendations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since then, NASA has implemented four of those recommendations by, among other things, establishing a process for aggregating and assessing cyber risk information from across NASA, and approving an updated cost and schedule baseline for the second test flight of the Orion crew vehicle for the Artemis II mission.

In June 2022, GAO identified two additional priority recommendations for NASA, bringing the total number to nine. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • monitoring program costs and execution,
  • ensuring cybersecurity, and
  • federal contracting metrics.

NASA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Timothy J. DiNapoli at (202) 512-4841 or

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Best practicesCost and scheduleCost estimatesCybersecurityExplorationHigh-risk issuesLife cycle costsStrategic planningFederal contractingNational security