Nasa's Management Of The Near Earth Network
The Near Earth Network, part of NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program, provides tracking, telemetry, and command services to approximately 40 Agency science missions operating in low Earth orbit, including the recently launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and the Aura mission, which is still operating more than 10 years after its 2004 launch. The Network also pr...
Paperback: 42 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 30, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
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vides launch and contingency support for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service Program satellites, which provide weather forecasting for the United States. To provide these services, the Near Earth Network uses NASA-owned antennas and transmitters located in Alaska, New Mexico, Virginia, and Antarctica, as well as equipment in other parts of the world owned by other U.S. or foreign government agencies or commercial entities. Although as of fiscal year (FY) 2014, the Network relied on commercial entities to deliver about half of the services it provides, beginning in FY 2015 the Network will see a significant increase in services through NASA-owned ground stations. Using non-U.S. Government entities to transmit Agency data presents significant security challenges. Moreover, NASA’s own Network assets are located in extreme environments and aging, making maintenance more difficult. Constrained budgets have also led the Agency to defer some maintenance activities, which, on at least one occasion, has contributed to the unexpected failure of Network equipment. The overall objective of this audit was to assess whether NASA is properly ensuring the information technology and physical security of the Near Earth Network and adjusting Network capabilities to meet current and future requirements within cost, schedule, and performance goals. This is the third in a series of audits by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) examining the various Networks managed by the SCaN Program. See Appendix A for details of the audit’s scope and methodology.