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NASA’s Orion, Space Launch System Face Growing Risks of Delays

© AP Photo / John Raoux, FileOrion Spacecraft
Orion Spacecraft - Sputnik International
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The Government Accountability Office said that NASA faces the growing risk of problems in two of their most expensive programs.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) faces the growing risk of problems in two of their most expensive programs — the Orion manned space vehicle and the Space Launch System, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.

"In our annual Quick Look at the status of NASA's major projects, we found… a third of these projects, including two of the most expensive ones (the Orion crew vehicle and Space Launch System), are at a stage when problems are most likely to occur," the GAO stated in a report issued on Tuesday.

Two other NASA projects — a Mars seismology instrument and lander and an upgrade to the NASA’s space communications network — experienced significant cost or schedule growth in 2016, the report noted.

"In addition, eight projects are in the phase of development when cost and schedule problems are most likely to occur, including the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System, NASA’s most expensive human spaceflight programs," the GAO explained.

NASA has not implemented a best practice for monitoring contractor performance and other NASA workforce analyses have identified gaps in key areas, such as scheduling, the report added.

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