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News briefs: March 21
Posted: Fri, Mar 22, 2002, 8:11 AM ET (1311 GMT)
  • NASA is using an "antiquated" accounting system that makes it impossible to track how the agency spends money, accountants told a House committee this week. Officials, including the new NASA general counsel, said that the system did not work well, and was exacerbated by Arthur Andersen audits that failed to find problems. New auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers were unable to complete their audit this year because they could not get the information they needed. The core of a new $835 million accounting system should be in place by mid-2003 and completed in 2005, two years ahead of schedule.
  • The Pentagon should pay for part of a next-generation reusable launch vehicle, a Florida senator said this week. Bill Nelson said during a Wednesday hearing that NASA does not have the fiscal resources needed to develop a successor to the shuttle, but that the Pentagon, who could benefit from such a vehicle, has plenty of funding. The Air Force and NASA have been performing a joint "120 Day Study" on RLV technology, with a final report scheduled for release in April.
  • Lance Bass, member of the band *NSYNC and potential space tourist, has headed to Russia for medical tests while flight negotiations continue, MSNBC reported Thursday. Bass is taking advantage of a five-day break during a concert tour to undergo the exams at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow. Bass is one of three people in the running to fly on a Soyuz taxi flight this fall; the other two are Polish entrepreneur Leszek Czarnecki and former NASA associate administrator Lori Garver.
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news links
Wednesday, November 22
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