A new report from NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) flags a number of issues regarding the space agency’s astronaut corps.

The processes NASA uses to size, train, and assign astronauts to specific missions are primarily calibrated toward meeting the current needs of the International Space Station.

“However, the astronaut corps is projected to fall below its targeted size or minimum manifest requirement in fiscal year (FY) 2022 and FY 2023 due to attrition and additional space flight manifest needs,” the OIG report notes.

More concerning, the report adds, the Astronaut Office calculated that the corps size would exactly equal the number of flight manifest seats NASA will need in FY 2022. “As a result, the Agency may not have a sufficient number of additional astronauts available for unanticipated attrition and crew reassignments or ground roles such as engaging in program development.”

In light of the expanding space flight opportunities anticipated for the Artemis missions, “the corps might be at risk of being misaligned in the future, resulting in disruptive crew reorganizations or mission delays.

A number of recommendations are provided in the Final Report – IG-22-007.

To read the full report, NASA’s Management of Its Astronaut Corps, go to:


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