GAO watchdogs howl about NASA’s performance

Image: Orion
An artist’s conception shows NASA’s Orion capsule in flight. (Credit: NASA)

The Government Accountability Office issued a downbeat report on NASA’s major space projects today, saying that cost and schedule performance has deteriorated over the past year.

The full extent of the cost issues is unknown, primarily due to uncertainties surrounding the effort to build NASA’s Orion deep-space capsule, the GAO said in its 127-page “Quick Look” assessment.

NASA’s multibillion-dollar commercial space taxi program, which has SpaceX and Boeing as lead contractors, could face delays as well. The GAO said full certification for carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station could slip to the end of 2019 for SpaceX, and to early 2020 for Boeing.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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