NASA Inspectors Comment On Agency’s Exploration Planning Written 14 November 2019

The planned lunar Gateway is envisioned as a temporary home and office for astronauts headed to the moon and Mars. NASA's Office of Inspector General has said it intends to audit the Gateway program. | NASA

Aerospace America details a report by the NASA Office of Inspector General (NASA OIG) that “casts doubt on whether the agency is on a path to achieve” the goal of creating “a bustling economy in low Earth orbit through a slate of ambitious exploration programs.” NASA Inspector General Paul Martin said in a letter Wednesday, “The lack of stable mid-term human exploration priorities [in the last decade] has left NASA lurching from major program to major program, expending time and resources to plan and replan instead of focusing on a clear, unified, and sustaining vision.” In the report, titled “NASA’s Top Management and Performance Challenges,” the NASA OIG “lists seven ‘management and performance challenges’ that it says NASA must overcome if it is to do its part to commercialize low Earth orbit and lay the groundwork for an eventual human mission to Mars.” The report warns of the Artemis program’s ambitious timeline, delays in the SLS rocket development, and the schedule for the NASA Commercial Crew program, among others. The report asserted, “The timing of each of these decisions has a cascading effect on the funding available to support space flight operations in low Earth orbit, ambitions for establishing a permanent presence on the Moon, and ultimately sending humans to Mars.”
Full Story (Aerospace America)