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Space Acquisitions: DOD Is Overcoming Long-Standing Problems, but Faces Challenges to Ensuring Its Investments Are Optimized
GAO-13-508T: Published: Apr 24, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 2013.
Most of the Department of Defense's (DOD) major satellite programs are in mature phases of development, that is, the initial satellites have been designed, fabricated, and launched into orbit while additional satellites of the same design are being produced. For the portfolio of major satellite programs, new cost and schedule growth is not as widespread as it was in prior years, but DOD is still e...
Satellite Control: Long-Term Planning and Adoption of Commercial Practices Could Improve DOD's Operations
GAO-13-315: Published: Apr 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 2013.
The Department of Defense (DOD) satellite control networks are fragmented and potentially duplicative. Over the past decade, DOD has increasingly deployed standalone satellite control operations networks, which are designed to operate a single satellite system, as opposed to shared systems that can operate multiple kinds of satellites. Dedicated networks can offer many benefits to programs, includ...
NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects
GAO-13-276SP: Published: Apr 17, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 2013.
The performance of the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA) portfolio of major projects has improved in the areas of cost and schedule growth since GAOs first assessment in 2009. Average development cost growth and schedule delay for the current portfolio have decreased to about a third of their 2009 levels.These figures exclude the cost and schedule growth of the Jame...
High-Risk Series: An Update
GAO-13-283: Published: Feb 14, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2013.
In February 2011, GAO detailed 30 high-risk areas. Sufficient progress has been made to remove the high-risk designation from two areas.Management of Interagency Contracting. Improvements include (1) continued progress made by agencies in addressing identified deficiencies, (2) establishment of additional management controls, (3) creation of a policy framework for establishing new interagency cont...
Launch Services New Entrant Certification Guide
GAO-13-317R: Published: Feb 7, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 2013.
The Air Force based its Guide on existing NASA policy and procedures with respect to payload risk classification and launch vehicle certification. Payloads are classified based in part on factors such as national significance, payload complexity and cost, and are assigned a risk tolerance level accordingly. The Air Force, NASA, and NRO are working to coordinate and share information to facilitate...
James Webb Space Telescope: Actions Needed to Improve Cost Estimate and Oversight of Test and Integration
GAO-13-4: Published: Dec 3, 2012. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 2012.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has provided significantly more time and money to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) than previously planned and expressed high confidence in the project's new baselines. Its current cost estimate reflects some features of best practices for developing reliable and credible estimates. For example, the estimate substantially meets one of f...
NASA: Earned Value Management Implementation across Major Spaceflight Projects Is Uneven
GAO-13-22: Published: Nov 19, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2012.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) 10 major spaceflight projects discussed in this report have not yet fully implemented earned value management (EVM). As a result, NASA is not taking full advantage of opportunities to use an important tool that could help reduce acquisition risk. GAO assessed the 10 projects against three fundamental EVM practices that, according to GAO's...
Department of Defense's Waiver of Competitive Prototyping Requirement for Enhanced Polar System Program
GAO-12-983R: Published: Aug 23, 2012. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 2012.
DOD's rationale for waiving WSARA's competitive prototyping requirement for CAPS covered both bases provided in the statute; however, DOD did not provide complete information about the potential benefits of competitive prototyping or support for its conclusion that prototyping would result in schedule delays. In the waiver, DOD found reasonable the Air Force's conclusion that the additional $49 mi...
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle: DOD Is Addressing Knowledge Gaps in Its New Acquisition Strategy [Reissued on August 13, 2012]
GAO-12-822: Published: Jul 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2012.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has numerous efforts in progress to address the knowledge gaps and data deficiencies identified in the GAO report. Of the seven recommendations GAO made to the Secretary of Defense, two have been completely addressed. While two of GAO’s recommendations have actions underway that are expected to be completed, two recommendations need more action for completion and...
Commercial Space Launches: FAA Should Update How It Assesses Federal Liability Risk
GAO-12-899: Published: Jul 30, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2012.
According to studies, the United States provides less commercial space launch indemnification for third party losses than China, France, and Russia. These countries put no limit on the amount of government indemnification coverage, which in the United States is limited by the Commercial Space Launch Act Amendments of 1988 (CSLAA). Governments commitments to pay have never been tested because the...