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Report critical of astronaut training, corps size
Posted: Sun, Oct 21, 2001, 11:05 AM ET (1505 GMT)
NASA A Florida Today investigative report published Sunday concludes that NASA is wasting money on an astronaut corps that is too large for current flight needs. The report found that NASA has spent over $100 million training 62 astronauts currently with NASA — 42 percent of the total corps — who have never flown in space. At current flight rates, it will take 11 years to fly all the rookie astronauts at least once. The report also found that NASA has no accounting method to determine how much it costs to train a new astronaut. The report notes that an astronaut corps of 60 mission specialists and 15 pilots, about half the size of the current corps, would be enough to support upcoming flights and allow enough time for astronauts to prepare between each mission.
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