Friday, June 03, 2005

GAO Criticizes NASA Decision to Continue Using Shuttles

Testifying in March of 2004 and February 2005, NASA claimed that using alternatives to the Shuttle would result in long delays and cost more than returning the aging craft to flight. The assessment relied primarily on headquarters personnel and an informal and undocumented process. Looking into the study, the GAO found that it could not validate the assessment.

The manned-Shuttle system needs to be shutdown immediately. The Shuttle could be operated in an unmanned mode to deliver the modules to the Space Station which are designed specifically for it. The U.S. could then purchase manned launches from the Russians to move personnel to and from the Space Station. The savings could be redirected towards building a Shuttle replacement.