NASA’s inspector general said today that the agency’s “ambitious” space agenda, which includes developing a new deep-space rocket in Alabama, may not be possible with the funding Congress has been willing to provide.
In a big-picture sense, the NASA management and performance challenges report released today by Inspector General Paul Martin says nothing new. Flat budgets are a topic of every major panel or forum about NASA these days. But Martin’s report does contain specifics about where he thinks NASA is underestimating future costs, and it shows how important a successful test of the Orion capsule on Dec. 4 is to the agency. In short, if something major goes wrong with Orion, NASA will have to scramble to find funds to fix it.