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GAO discussed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) plans to develop information technology for its Space Station and found that: (1) NASA recently developed revised cost estimates, a phased deployment program, and an extended time frame for design, development, and operation of the station; (2) NASA advanced automation efforts could improve both ground and orbital operations, lower costs, and increase productivity; (3) inadequate information technology development efforts could make initial operations expensive and inefficient; (4) rebuilding information systems over time to include more automated designs would be extremely costly; (5) the NASA advanced automation technology plans would not significantly influence station design; and (6) NASA efforts to design the station within the initial target cost, without full consideration of operational costs, could inhibit automation planning for the station.

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