NASA tests smart cards

NASA plans to test smart cards to control employee access to facilities and systems. If the cards prove to be successful, the agency could issue the computer chip-enabled access cards to more than 100,000 employees by the end of fiscal 2005.

Maximus Inc., Reston, Va., is working with NASA to develop the system under a $93 million contract awarded through the General Services Administration's Smart Access Common ID Contract.

NASA will first test the cards in May at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., followed by a second, larger field test. Full deployment hinges on the outcome of the tests and approval from the Office of Management and Budget, according to NASA.

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