GAO takes on the DSN

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued Monday a report highly critical of NASA’s maintenance of the Deep Space Network (DSN), the system of ground stations used to transmit to and receive data from a variety of NASA spacecraft. In a study requested by Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO), the GAO found that the DSN’s three ground stations, in California, Australia, and Spain, are suffering from aging and poorly-maintained equipment that, while accommodating most mission requirements now, “may not be able to meet near-term and future demand.” NASA has exacerbated the problem by deferring $30 million in DSN maintenance for the last several years. (The full report includes photos of corroded antennas, road damage, and other problems with the Goldstone, California facility, the only one of the three visited by the GAO.) NASA concurred with the report’s assessment and said it is already working on implementing them through a “roadmap” exercise to chart the future of the DSN.

1 comment to GAO takes on the DSN

  • The Elf

    After reading the comment about corrosion, bad roads, etc, and that they were going to fix this through a roadmapping exercise, the inevitable happened.

    The AC/DC song, “Highway to Hell” just naturally came to mind.