NASA OIG: Artemis Partnerships with International Space Agencies

I was looking through audit reports from the Government Accountability Office and NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to see what was being said about NASA’s programs. The only report of interest so far pertained to the Artemis mission and the need for greater coordination among the various partners. Audit reports often make these same recommendations over and over again, yet it does make sense that NASA’s largest outreach program since the International Space Station (ISS) should have all the pieces in place, yet it does not.

Here is the first finding in the OIG report:

Interest in the Artemis campaign is high across the international space community, as evidenced by NASA’s 54 Artemis-related international instruments and the 23 signatories to the Artemis Accords. However, the Agency lacks an overarching strategy to coordinate Artemis contributions from international space agencies and entities. Except for the Gateway Program, the Artemis campaign does not have comprehensive forums—boards, panels, and working groups— for its international partners to routinely discuss topics such as flight and mission planning, safety, and research integration. In contrast, the ISS Program–seen as a model of long-term international space cooperation–employs these forums as well as on-site representation from partner agencies.

The OIG report makes a number of recommendations related to this issue and other identified by auditors. The report also includes some helpful graphics and tables that illustrate all of the pieces going into the three Artemis missions as well as the parties contributing those pieces. This looks significantly more complex than the ISS, so I would think good coordination would be even more critical.

Image (Credit): Contributions to the Artemis Program by NASA and partners. (NASA OIG)
Image (Credit): A table from the NASA OIG report IG-23-004. (NASA OIG)