The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), an advisory committee that reports to NASA and Congress, issued its 2020 annual report Tuesday examining the agency’s safety performance over the past year and highlighting accomplishments, issues, and concerns.
The report highlights 2020 activities and includes observations on NASA’s:
- Human spaceflight evolution
- Systems engineering and integration
- Risks related to goals, schedules, and resources
- Ongoing programs, including:
- Explorations Systems Development
- Advanced Exploration Systems
- Commercial Crew Program
- International Space Station
- Space traffic management
- COVID-19 pandemic response
The report notes significant activity during 2020 in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, as well as ongoing operations of the International Space Station and progress toward launching Artemis missions to land the first woman and next man on the Moon. The panel has chosen in this year’s report to emphasize NASA’s future and the risks of human space exploration.
“This year the panel provides advice on some of the ‘big picture’ aspects of NASA’s responsibilities and poses questions that NASA should seriously address in the coming months,” said ASAP Chair Patricia Sanders.
The report is based on the panel’s 2020 fact-finding and quarterly public meetings; insight visits and meetings; direct observations of NASA operations and decision-making processes; discussions with NASA management, employees, and contractors; and the panel members’ own experience.
Congress established the panel in 1968 to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA administrator on safety matters after the 1967 Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of three American astronauts.
For more information about the ASAP, and to view the 2020 report – and reports from previous years – visit:
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2021 – Editor: Sean Potter