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Government Watchdog Says NASA Lacks Transparency in Artemis Rocket Spending

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Government Watchdog Says NASA Lacks Transparency in Artemis Rocket Spending

The Government Accountability Office says that NASA does not plan to measure production costs on the Space Launch System, the Artemis program’s launch vehicle.

In a report to congressional appropriators published Sept. 7, GAO explained that the agency’s lack of production cost transparency hinders efforts to assess SLS’ affordability. So far, NASA has spent $11.8 billion on the program through November 2022.

GAO added that the agency has not honored past recommendations to estimate total lifecycle expenses for SLS or establish cost and schedule baselines for Artemis missions using the Block 1 configuration. According to the watchdog, the five-year funding profiles included in NASA’s budget requests cannot replace cost baselines and are insufficient to detail cost performance over time.

GAO said SLS expenses are rising despite transitioning into production, citing a contract that would allocate almost $2 billion toward building core stages for Artemis III and IV. The agency noted that determining cost growth will be challenging without mechanisms to capture such costs and compare them with a baseline, SpaceNews reported Friday.

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Category: Space

Tags: Artemis cost baseline Government Accountability Office NASA space Space Launch System SpaceNews