NASA’s Office of the Inspector General has criticised NASA’s management in a report noting that it has apparently given funding to one of the commercial cargo operators before it has flown the required number of cargo demonstration missions. Specifically it records that Orbital Sciences Corp has recevied “up to 70 percent of the funds associated with six of its eight CRS missions prior to having flown a demonstration flight, ”
The report also notes that a “full demonstration flight required under the COTS Program most recently scheduled for June 2013 has slipped to August or September 2013.
The report notes other firm involved in providing commercial cargo services, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), while suffering from some development delays and shoning some anomalies during its Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration flights, has flown two delivery missions.
In 2008, NASA awardedSpaceX a contract worth $1.6 billion for 12 Falcon 9 launch/Dragon spacecraft missions and Orbital $1.9 billion for 8 Antares launch/Cygnus spacecraft missions.