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NASA Safety Panel Reviews Commercial Crew Program, Exploration Systems Devt

A NASA advisory committee has released its annual report for 2017 that offers information on the agency’s safety performance as well as issues associated with its space programs.

The report issued Thursday by NASA’s aerospace safety advisory panel provides assessments of the agency’s Exploration Systems Development initiative; Commercial Crew Program; International Space Station; deep space exploration; enterprise protection; and aeronautics operations, the agency said Friday.

The panel offered several recommendations such as the need for NASA to make changes to space traffic management and situational awareness operations in an effort to address safety risks posed by micrometeoroids and orbital debris to human spaceflight missions.

The committee also called for a review and amendment of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 that mandates a presidential investigation into loss of space vehicles and crew as well as implementation of an independent review that would look into mishaps related to human spaceflight missions.

The report also highlighted the panel’s concerns with the 33-month launch gap between Exploration Mission-1 and EM-2 due to possible modification to the Mobile Launch Platform; issues with the Deep Space Gateway; and safety concerns associated with ISS deorbit planning efforts.

The committee also cited the impact of continuing resolution on NASA’s program management and implementation as well as funding concerns related to the agency’s aircraft management information system.

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