20 June 2001
News - General (None)
Nasa Judged 4th Worst-Managed Organization in the US Government
by Patrick Collins
Nasa was recently ranked the 4th worst-managed US government organisation by the Senate Government Affairs Committee. It was particularly criticised for the incompetence it showed in:

1) You guessed it - the ever-shrinking 'international space station'. If a $14 billion/year company mislaid even $50 million heads would roll - but the $5 billion by which Nasa has allowed the space station budget to balloon (again) is 100 times more! But what's $5 billion to Nasa?

2) The X-33 and X-34. After scrapping the extremely successful DC-X project after spending just $40 million, Nasa proceeded to spend $1.3 billion on these projects – neither of which ever even flew before they were scrapped! The politicians who decide Nasa’s budget proceeded to reward Nasa with $4.5 billion for 'SLI', which is part of Nasa’s plan to delay passenger space travel until 2040.

3) The Mars observation satellite that crashed because it’s far too much to expect Nasa staff to understand the difference between miles and kilometres ("...a mistake that could happen to anyone").

Nasa administrator Goldin, who is often praised in the press for his management skills (sic), is thus shown to have feet of clay. He claims that these budget problems are due to the lack of sufficiently advanced super-computers to do design work. This is just more nonsense from the agency which is doing everything it can to delay space tourism, the most economically valuable use of space.
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Patrick Collins 20 June 2001
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