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This article was Originally Published on Apr 19, 2006 in Volume: 5  Issue: 1

Congress should restrict NASA’s CEV funding, GAO says

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The Government Accountability Office is recommending that Congress restrict funding for NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle program after the space agency turned down the GAO’s request that it slow the program’s speed. The GAO is further asking Congress to consider restricting NASA’s appropriations and obligations for the CEV to only the amount of funding crucial to complete the program’s preliminary design review, which will take place in 2008. The GAO said NASA’s current acquisition strategy for CEV “places the project at risk of significant cost overruns, schedule delays, and performance shortfalls because it commits the government to a long-term product development effort before establishing a sound business case.” The leadership of the House Science Committee had previously asked the GAO to assess NASA’s grasp of the architecture and cost of its vision for space exploration, whether the costs are within budget and determine the risks associated with the CEV acquisition strategy. HSC ranking member Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) said the GAO report has provided “an early-warning signal that all may not be well with NASA’s approach to implementing the exploration initiative.” “I think Congress needs to take a serious look at the issues GAO raises,” Gordon said.

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