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Commercial Space Transportation: Industry Trends and Key Issues Affecting Federal Oversight and International Competitiveness
GAO-11-629T: Published: May 5, 2011. Publicly Released: May 5, 2011.
Since GAO reported on the commercial space launch industry in 2006 and 2009, the industry has evolved and moved further toward space tourism. Commercial space tourism promises to make human space travel available to the public for the first time. In addition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to use private companies to transport cargo, and eventually personnel, to the...
International Space Station (ISS) - Ongoing Assessments for Life Extension Appear to be Supported
GAO-11-519R: Published: Apr 11, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2011.
This document is in response to the mandate contained in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Authorization Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-267, Section 503(c)(2), for GAO to provide an evaluation of the accuracy and level of confidence in the findings contained in NASA's assessment of the essential modules, operational systems and components, structural elements, and permanent sc...
Additional Cost Transparency and Design Criteria Needed for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Projects
GAO-11-364R: Published: Mar 3, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2011.
GAO published its third annual assessment of selected large-scale NASA projects. During this assessment we identified several issues that merit NASA's management attention. The federal government faces real fiscal limitations and will have to make difficult choices about upcoming priorities. This reality makes it more important than ever that NASA manage its programs and projects as efficiently an...
NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects
GAO-11-239SP: Published: Mar 3, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2011.
GAO's work has shown that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) large-scale projects, while producing groundbreaking research and advancing our understanding of the universe, tend to cost more and take longer to develop than planned, and are often approved without evidence of a sound business case. Although space development is complex and diffi cult by nature, GAO has found t...
NASA: Medium Launch Transition Strategy Leverages Ongoing Investments but Is Not Without Risk
GAO-11-107: Published: Nov 22, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2010.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has long relied on the Delta II medium class launch vehicle to launch science missions. Delta II, however, is no longer in production, and no other vehicle in the relative cost and performance range is currently certified for NASA use. Thus, NASA faces a potential gap in the availability of medium class launch vehicles that could cause desig...
Space Acquisitions: Challenges in Commercializing Technologies Developed under the Small Business Innovation Research Program
GAO-11-21: Published: Nov 10, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2010.
To be competitive in the global economy, the United States relies heavily on innovation through research and development (R&D). The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 established the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to stimulate technological innovation among small businesses. SBIR offers one avenue for introducing technological innovation in the Department of Defen...
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Improvements Needed in Continuity Planning and Involvement of Key Users
GAO-10-799: Published: Sep 1, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2010.
The Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with the aid of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is to procure the next generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites, called Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) series. The GOES-R series is to replace the current series of satellites, which will...
Global Positioning System: Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Capabilities Persist
GAO-10-636: Published: Sep 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2010.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) data to users worldwide. The U.S. Air Force, which is responsible for GPS acquisition, is in the process of modernizing the system. Last year GAO reported that it was uncertain whether the Air Force could acquire new satellites in time to maintain GPS service without interruption. GAO was asked to assess (1) the...
Perchlorate: Occurrence Is Widespread but at Varying Levels; Federal Agencies Have Taken Some Actions to Respond to and Lessen Releases
GAO-10-769: Published: Aug 12, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2010.
Perchlorate is both a man-made and naturally occurring chemical. It is used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and other products. Naturally occurring perchlorate is produced through atmospheric processes and then settles on surface water or land. Perchlorate can disrupt the uptake of iodide in the thyroid, potentially interfering with thyroid function and negatively affecting fetal and infant...
Next Generation Air Transportation System: FAA and NASA Have Improved Human Factors Research Coordination, but Stronger Leadership Needed
GAO-10-824: Published: Aug 6, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 2010.
To address challenges to the aviation industry's economic health and safety, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other federal partners to plan and implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). NextGen will transform the current radar-based air traffic control system into a satellite-based...