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NASA IG criticizes Propulsion Module management
Posted: Thu, Jun 28, 2001, 7:05 PM ET (2305 GMT)
A report released Wednesday by NASA's Inspector General is highly critical of how the space agency managed the now-cancelled Propulsion Module program for the International Space Station. The IG's report found that NASA did not properly plan development of the module before beginning its design, wasting $97 million and 19 months before realizing the design was unacceptable. The report also criticized the decision to award development of a replacement system to Boeing without a competitive process, as is usually the case for major projects, and also noted the lack of approved project or risk management plans for the new system. The space agency's response to the report was largely constructive, recognizing some of the problems with the program but adding that it believed the noncompetitive assignment of the follow-on system to Boeing was within the scope of the original contract between NASA and the company for the station. The module, which would have provided propulsion capability to maintain the station's orbit in the event Russia was unable to meet its commitments, was cancelled earlier this year as part of space station budget cuts.
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