Category Archives: Space

May the Fourth Be Well Insured

You should have pretty good insurance before handing your car keys to Han Solo. While we don’t have insights into the Millennium Falcon’s insurance policy, the federal government has helped the commercial space launch industry since 1988 by sharing the … Continue reading

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NASA Commercial Crew Program (podcast)

NASA contracted with Boeing and SpaceX to produce vehicles to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. But first, NASA has to certify that the vehicles meet its technical requirements and are safe for human spaceflight. Are the companies on … Continue reading

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Do the Oscars Make You Think of Federal Policy? Yeah, Us Too.

We think about our reports all the time—even when we watch movies. As a tribute to our single-mindedness, today’s WatchBlog is all about how our work relates to this year’s Oscar-nominated films. So, get some popcorn, put your feet up, … Continue reading

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Where No Auditor Has Gone Before

It’s Star Trek’s 50th anniversary—it first took viewers “where no man has gone before” in 1966. Since then, the Enterprise and its sister ships have spent much of their time at warp speeds, saving planets and fending off hostile life … Continue reading

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NASA’s Plans for Human Space Exploration (podcast)

In the 1960s, NASA had Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo to get humans to the moon. Today, the agency has the Orion multipurpose crew capsule and the Space Launch System, which could potentially get humans to Mars. Listen to Cristina … Continue reading

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Eyes in the Sky | Could We Be Headed for Less Accurate Weather Forecasts?

Satellites are critical for timely forecasts and warnings of extreme weather events. But, as we’ve discussed before, some of these satellites are aging and should be replaced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oversees key weather satellites, and today we’re … Continue reading

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3, 2, 1…Liftoff of Our 2015 Assessment of NASA’s Major Space Projects!

Each year, we report on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) major projects. Last week, we issued our latest “Quick Look” report, with updates on projects that are expected to cost at least $250 million. This year, 16 projects … Continue reading

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Weather Forecasting—Outlook Unclear

Weather forecasts can warn people before major storms strike—allowing time to protect homes, businesses, and lives. We have previously discussed the importance of the satellites the United States uses for its forecasts, and wanted to update our readers on recent … Continue reading

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GAO’s Acquisition and Sourcing Management Team

GAO’s workforce is organized largely by subject area, with most employees working in 1 of 14 mission teams, many of which we have highlighted on the WatchBlog. Today we’ll be putting the spotlight on the Acquisition and Sourcing Management (ASM) team, … Continue reading

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GAO Reports Help NASA Oversee Major Projects

Each year, we produce several reports that look at a variety of topics at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). One of these annual reports is known as the “NASA Quick Look,” which provides an overview of the NASA … Continue reading

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