Skip to main content

Priority Open Recommendations: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

GAO-24-107387 Published: Jun 17, 2024. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2024.
Jump To:

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 letter to NASA outlines 5 open recommendations that NASA should prioritize. For example, we recommended that NASA improve long-term cost estimates for human spaceflight programs, including missions to return to the moon.

NASA implemented 4 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

Graphic that says, "GAO's Priority Open Recommendations" and includes the NASA seal.

Skip to Highlights


What GAO Found

In May 2023, GAO identified nine priority recommendations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since then, NASA has implemented four of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to establish cost and schedule baselines necessary to track program performance and accurately categorizing positions in its cybersecurity workforce.

As of June 2024, five priority recommendations remain open. GAO is not adding any new priority recommendations this year. These open recommendations involve the following areas:

  • monitoring program costs and execution,
  • ensuring cybersecurity and
  • using 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 DiNapoli at (202) 512-4841 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts

Office of Public Affairs


Acquisition managementCost estimatesCybersecurityExplorationHigh-risk issuesLife cycle costsProgram transparencySpace acquisition programsFederal contractingCost and schedule