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Astronomy

NASA OIG: Future Viability Of SOFIA Is Threatened

By Keith Cowing
September 14, 2020
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NASA OIG: Future Viability Of SOFIA Is Threatened

OIG: NASA’s Management of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Program
“The lack of clear and achievable performance expectations and lack of concurrence between SMD and SOFIA management on science output goals including publication and citation metrics has reduced productivity and threatens the Program’s future viability. The Program is unlikely to achieve the community’s expectation of 150 publications per year by 2022, or the Program’s goal of 100 annual publications, as it only produced 33 publications in 2019 and the actions proposed to meet this goal fall short of the transformational changes required to address current operational and technical challenges. Further, the proposed actions are unlikely to mitigate SOFIA’s lack of competitiveness because of the Program’s poor efficiency on a science-per-dollar basis when compared to other observatories.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.