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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) X-33 Program, focusing on: (1) whether the X-33 Program is meeting the cost, schedule, and performance objectives established in the X-33 cooperative agreement; (2) how NASA's oversight responsibility was changed by the cooperative agreement; and (3) potential issues NASA may face as it moves toward a decision on whether to use Venture Star reusable launch vehicles (RLV) to service the International Space Station.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 1. In light of NASA's large investment in the X-33 Program and the important role the program plays in NASA's future plans, Administrator, NASA, should include in the agency's Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan performance targets for the X-33 Program that establish a clear path leading from the X-33 flight-test vehicle to an operational RLV and show progress toward meeting the agency's objective of significantly reducing launch costs.
Closed - Not Implemented
Continuation of the program depended on it successfully competing for Space Launch Initiative Program funding under a NASA Research Announcement. NASA determined that the benefits to be derived from continuation did not warrant the magnitude of the required investment and that Space Launch Initiative funds should be applied to higher priority needs. Thus, the program came to completion when the cooperative agreement between NASA and Lockheed Martin expired on March 31, 2001. Therefore, the recommendation is no longer applicable.

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