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Open Recommendations

NASA Commercial Crew Program: Significant Work Remains to Begin Operational Missions to the Space Station

GAO-20-121
Jan 29, 2020
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that NASA documents how NASA and FAA will communicate about any waivers granted during the licensing process for a Commercial Crew Program mission before an operational mission is conducted. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Aviation Administration The FAA Administrator should ensure that FAA documents how NASA and FAA will communicate about any waivers granted during the licensing process for a Commercial Crew Program mission before an operational mission is conducted. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

NASA Lunar Programs: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Analyses and Plans for Moon Landing

GAO-20-68
Dec 19, 2019
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6 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Advanced Exploration Systems division to define and determine a schedule for synchronization reviews, including the role of the proposed Lunar Exploration Control Board, to help ensure that requirements between mission and program levels are reconciled. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Gateway program to conduct a joint cost and schedule confidence level at the program level for the Artemis III mission. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Gateway program to update its overall schedule for 2024 to add a KDP II to occur before system integration. (Recommendation 3)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations creates a life-cycle cost estimate for the Artemis III mission. (Recommendation 4)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Advanced Exploration Systems division to commit to a completion date and finalize a cohesive document outlining the rationale for selecting its current lunar architecture and lunar programs. (Recommendation 5)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the Office of the Chief Engineer determines under what conditions it is appropriate to complete an analysis of alternatives, particularly when there are multiple pathways—including architectures or programs—that NASA could pursue in the future, and document the justification for not completing an analysis. (Recommendation 6)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

NASA Human Space Exploration: Persistent Delays and Cost Growth Reinforce Concerns over Management of Programs

GAO-19-377
Jun 19, 2019
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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration We recommend the NASA Administrator ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations direct the SLS program to calculate its development cost growth using a baseline that is appropriately adjusted for scope and costs NASA has determined are not associated with the first flight, and determine if the development cost growth has increased by 30 percent or more. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

NASA agreed with this recommendation and stated that it will reevaluate SLS development cost performance against an appropriately scoped baseline during the course of its Lunar 2024 planning activities. The agency has not yet taken any actions.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration We recommend the NASA Administrator ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations direct the Orion program to update its cost estimate to reflect its committed EM-2 baseline date of April 2023. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

NASA partially agreed with this recommendation, stating that providing the estimate to the forecasted launch date-September 2022-rather than to the committed baseline date of April 2023 is the most appropriate approach. Further, NASA stated that any additional slips to the program involve considerable uncertainty associated with "unknown-unknowns" which are, by their very definition, impossible to predict or forecast and that attempting to forecast these at this point is neither practical nor useful to help manage the program. If the schedule projections go beyond September 2022, NASA stated that the Orion program will follow standard Agency processes and update its cost estimate to reflect the updated schedule projections. We maintain that NASA should update its cost estimate to reflect its committed EM-2 baseline date of April 2023. NASA established Orion's EM-2 launch date of April 2023 as part of the agency's program confirmation process in 2015. According to federal law, NASA is required to track and report progress relative to the cost and schedule baselines established at the program's confirmation review. While programs often pursue goals trying to beat these dates and/or cost estimates, the primary purpose of a cost and schedule baseline is to provide a consistent basis for measuring program progress over time. By developing cost estimates only to the program's goals and not relative to the established baseline, the Orion program is not providing the Agency or the Congress the means of measuring progress relative to the baseline. The agency has not yet taken any actions.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration We recommend the NASA Administrator ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations direct the EGS program to demonstrate design maturity by completing 3D product modeling of the basic and functional design of the second Mobile Launcher prior to construction start. (Recommendation 3)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

NASA agreed with this recommendation and stated that the acquisition strategy for the second mobile launcher requires the use of 3D product modeling and that it will be the source for all engineering activities including integrated design reviews to demonstrate design maturity. The agency has not yet taken any actions.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration We recommend the NASA Administrator ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations direct the SLS and Orion programs to reevaluate their strategies for incentivizing contractors and determine whether they could more effectively incentivize contractors to achieve the outcomes intended as part of ongoing and planned contract negotiations. (Recommendation 4)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

NASA agreed with the intent of this recommendation and stated that the SLS and Orion program offices reevaluate their strategies for incentivizing contract performance as part of normal contracting activities including contract restructures, contract baseline adjustments, and new contract actions. The agency has not yet taken any actions.

James Webb Space Telescope: Opportunity Nears to Provide Additional Assurance That Project Can Meet New Cost and Schedule Commitments

GAO-19-189
Mar 26, 2019
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should direct the JWST project office to conduct a Joint Cost and Schedule Confidence Level prior to its system integration review. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

NASA agreed with this recommendation. The JWST project office expects to complete the Joint Cost and Schedule Confidence Level (JCL) analysis by fall 2019, prior to the system integration review.