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Audit: NASA doesn't have the money for big rockets

Incredible Facts About NASA

WASHINGTON (AP) - NASA doesn't have enough money to get its new, $12 billion rocket system off the ground by the end of 2017 as planned, federal auditors say.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report Wednesday saying NASA's Space Launch System is at "high risk of missing" its planned December 2017 initial test flight. The post-space shuttle program would build the biggest rockets ever - larger than the Saturn V rockets which sent men to the moon - to send astronauts to asteroids and Mars.

"They can't meet the date with the money they have," report author Cristina Chaplain said. She said it wasn't because the space agency had technical problems with the congressionally-required program, but that NASA didn't get enough money to carry out the massive undertaking.

The GAO report put the current shortfall at $400 million, but did say NASA was "making solid progress" on the rocket program design.

NASA's launch system officials told the GAO that there was a 90 percent chance of not hitting the launch date at this time.

This usually means NASA has to delay its test launch date, get more money or be less ambitious about what it plans to do, said former NASA associate administrator Scott Pace, space policy director at George Washington University.

NASA is working on the problems GAO highlighted, but delaying launch or diverting money from other programs would harm taxpayers, NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier wrote in the agency's response.

"Welcome to aerospace," Pace said, pointing out that large space projects often end up as much as 50 percent over budget. He said that "is why you shouldn't believe initial cost estimates."

The space agency has been reluctant to put an overall price tag on the Space Launch System. The GAO report says it will cost $12 billion to get to the first test launch and "potentially billions more to develop increasingly capable vehicles" that could be used for launches to asteroids and Mars.

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medow1969 July 24 2014 at 12:44 AM

Thats because he wants to give 4 billion to the illegals crossing the border.

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2 replies
criterion29 medow1969 July 24 2014 at 3:01 AM

and a 500 mils to the radical and militant muslems , i wonder what he is drinking ?

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KZMike medow1969 July 24 2014 at 10:34 AM

THAT is just STUPID. . . This ENTIRE funding mess is primarily the result of the House of Representatives NOT doing their jobs and bringing a budget up for a vote and instead going to the sequester. As a result we are paying more than we would have other wise. An example:The sequester cut some coverage in Medicare, forcing those who needed those service to go into the Emergency Room for what was needed. As a result Medicare costs have gone up. . . this blunder by the House leadership not bringing a budget up for a vote has cost tax payers BILLIONS over that short time frame allowing the sequester to happen.

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4 replies
crowland503 July 24 2014 at 5:01 AM

NASA would have the money if Obama didn't attend all these Democratic fund raisers and golf courses at tax payer's expense!

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5 replies
Welcome Justin July 24 2014 at 7:54 AM

How sad is it that we can send $800M to ISIL, millions more to Ukraine, over half a billion to the Taliban, and continually fund welfare, foodstamps, and unemployment for both people who are not looking for work and illegal immigrants, but we can't fund one of the most accomplished organizations in our nation's history. This truly is pathetic.

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2 replies
kcarthey Welcome Justin July 24 2014 at 8:15 AM

Some of us said that in the Reagan years, Justin.

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1 reply
Welcome Justin kcarthey July 24 2014 at 8:27 AM

So it was bad under Reagan, but good under Obama ? How does that make any sense ? Can you please say something intelligent for once kcarthey ? Or at least something less incompetent ?

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KZMike Welcome Justin July 24 2014 at 10:36 AM

MORE Stupidity. . . do some research and get the facts ► http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/ ◄

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2 replies
salmagundi111 KZMike July 24 2014 at 12:21 PM

KZMike, people who go around calling others stupid usually are inarticulate, as you appear to be.

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Welcome Justin KZMike July 24 2014 at 12:49 PM

I have done the research, using multiple sites to verify and crosscheck information. But I like how you cite a known leftist propaganda cite as your only source. It shows the limited scope through which you can comprehend things.

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Hello Butch July 24 2014 at 1:38 AM

How much did GWB spend on invading foreign countries while he was in office and rebuilding them, did they ever find that missing 6 billion some one misplased Mr. Cheney.

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3 replies
joper201 July 23 2014 at 11:26 PM

Take it from Planned Parenthood!!
They give abortions to minors without reporting it to Police and just got caught telling a 15 year old girl all about whips, and bondage.
How would you like someone telling your child weird sex fetishes are OK and normal?????????

PP gets A half billion dollars a year.
Give NASA what they need and PP will still have 100 Million dollars to teach you little girl about weird sex or abort her baby.

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chuck July 24 2014 at 12:04 AM

well oboma squandered your money on obomacare for the giveme's

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3 replies
JOE July 23 2014 at 11:40 PM

All they need to do is cancel two weeks worth of Obama fund raising trips and they have the money. Simple

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douglas1s July 24 2014 at 5:02 AM

NASA gives back more than any Gov. program. Jobs and Technology, practially every state 'had' hundreds small Subcontractors and vendors that work for NASA.

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2 replies
Don Schnickelfelter douglas1s July 24 2014 at 11:41 AM

To say nothing of our stature in the world.

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peteswarr douglas1s July 24 2014 at 12:09 PM

Try thousands of venders. The jobs they produce also are high paying technical ones that also boost the local tax basis as they build bigger homes, they also boost the local food, home improvement, and clothing businesses.

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balaland July 24 2014 at 4:10 AM

The liquidation of the United States is in full Bloom, from theft of social services , liquidation of the dreams and hopes and futures of our people made possible by uncontrolled spending, in-active Congress ,and more begging from programs that can not and should not be shut down..Print up more unaccountable funds from the Golden Printing Presses in Washington..........

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1 reply
peteswarr balaland July 24 2014 at 12:10 PM

Actually, congress is the only part that is working as designed. There is a check and balance between the 2 houses. Unfortunately, there is no check and balance between the executive branch and the media.

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silcalifano July 24 2014 at 8:15 AM

We now use Russian rocket engines and soon we will really have to use that trampoline to get to the space station! Maybe when we get a new President he or she (Please not Hillary) will restore the USA as the leader in space.

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