The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), an advisory committee that reports to NASA and Congress, issued its 2019 annual report Tuesday examining the agency’s safety performance over the past year and highlighting accomplishments, issues and concerns.

The report highlights 2019 activities and includes assessments of NASA’s:

International Space Station
Lunar and deep space exploration
Exploration Systems Development
Commercial Crew Program
Aeronautics and air operations
Safety culture
Enterprise protection

“The panel noted considerable headway toward NASA’s human exploration objectives in 2019,” said ASAP Chair Patricia Sanders. “We are supportive of the significant amount of testing – both completed and underway – as well as the thoroughness of ongoing work to resolve technical issues. While many challenges remain, the progress to date is encouraging; however, much work lies ahead.”

The report notes the panel’s focus over the past year on the qualification testing, analysis, and validation efforts of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and Exploration Systems Development as both efforts move closer to launching uncrewed and crewed flights. Achieving these milestones will be critical steps toward launching the first woman and the next man to the surface of the Moon by 2024 with NASA’s Artemis program, part of the agency’s broader Moon to Mars exploration approach. 

The report is based on the panel’s 2019 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 Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and to view the 2019 report, visit: