NASA Short of Money for Big Rockets
The Federal auditors have informed that space agency NASA does not have sufficient money to begin its new rocket system of $13 billion by the end of 2017, as earlier planned.
According to the report announced by the Government Accountability Office, NASA's Space Launch System is at the higher risk of missing its planned December test flight.
The biggest rocket, which will be bigger than the Saturn V rockets and takes astronauts to the moon, will be build by the post-space shuttle program.
Report author Cristina Chaplain said it was not so because the space agency had some technical problem, but because NASA did not acquire sufficient funds to complete the project.
There is a present shortage of $460 million but NASA is making improvement on the rocket program design, according to the GAO report.
Due to the shortage of money, NASA may need to postpone its date of the test launch and should acquire more money, said former NASA associate administrator Scott Pace, space policy director at George Washington University.
NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier wrote in the agency's response that NASA is functioning on the problems, which GAO has mentioned but taxpayers can suffer if there will be delay in the launch.
Presently, Russia is the only one way to reach the International Space Station for astronauts. Because of the shutdown of space shuttle program in 2011, the Russian space program is the one and only in the world which is capable of manned spaceflight. Private space exploration company SpaceX is also advancing with its rocket missions and might reduce the cost of future space missions.
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