NASA

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NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was established in 1958 under the Eisenhower administration. Its main purpose was to act as an independent agency to direct the nation’s space missions and research programs. Over the past 45 years, since its inception, NASA has experienced many problems and has received recent negative publicity. NASA has had longstanding managerial problems on the inside and with outside contractors. They have also failed to estimate costs and have conducted projects well beyond what their budget dictates. An example of that would be with the failed X-33 project, among others. This analysis will explore these areas of NASA and provide preliminary recommendations as to how the program can better itself, from management to new vehicles.

Although research of National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) government contractors over the last thirty years did not uncover any major allegations of shoddy workmanship or under spec deliverables, it did reveal serious issues with regard to billing fraud and huge bonuses paid out on over budget projects. Over the years there have been numerous allegations of fraud and abuse by NASA contractors. Finally in November 2000 the government was able to win a settlement against the Boeing Company of Seattle and the Houston-based United Space Alliance for a total of $825,000. In addition to the money that was awarded, these two companies agreed to forfeit any rights they have to collect on $1.2 million in unpaid invoices. This settlement was related to allegations that false claims had been submitted for work supposedly performed between 1986 and 1992 under the NASA Space Shuttle and Space Station Freedom programs. Originally, the Rockwell Space Operations Company (RSOC) was the contractor who was hired to manage the two programs. An RSOC sub-contractor, Omniplan Corporation, is accused of being involved in numerous fraudulent billing activities. The result of this fraud was that the United States was overcharged millions of dollars. The Boeing Company acquired RSOC in 1996 and at that time United Space Alliance took over the management of the two space programs. The government tried to sue Omniplan in 1993, but the company went bankrupt. In January 2000 the government then filed suit against RSOC claiming that they had submitted Omniplan’s false invoices. It is...

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