Launch vehicles (1 - 7 of 7 items) in Past Year
Commercial Space Launch Insurance: Weakness in FAA's Insurance Calculation May Expose the Federal Government to Excess Risk
GAO-17-366: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revised its method for calculating insurance requirements to address some known weaknesses. FAA is the part of the Department of Transportation that determines the amount of insurance that commercial space launch companies must purchase to cover damages from accidents that harm third parties—that is, the uninvolved public—or federal property and pe...
Commercial Space: FAA Should Examine How to Appropriately Regulate Space Support Vehicles
GAO-17-100: Published: Nov 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2016.
Company officials GAO interviewed identified potential uses for “space support vehicles”—which include a variety of aircraft from high-performance jets to balloons and the aircraft portion of a hybrid launch systems (a vehicle that contains elements of both an aircraft and a rocket-powered launch vehicle)—but the size of the market for these uses is unclear. Company officials said they pla...
Commercial Space Launch Insurance: Views Differ on Need for Change to Insurance Approach but Clarification Is Needed
GAO-17-88: Published: Nov 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2016.
Of the 10 spaceport operators (entities that host launches from their property) that are currently licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 3 have had commercial activity in the last 5 years, and all 3 told GAO that they have both property and liability coverage to protect themselves from losses resulting from space launch mishaps. Federal laws and regulations do not require spacepor...
NASA Human Space Exploration: Opportunity Nears to Reassess Launch Vehicle and Ground Systems Cost and Schedule
GAO-16-612: Published: Jul 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2016.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) new launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), has resolved some technical issues and matured its design since GAO's July 2015 report, but pressure remains on the program's limited cost and schedule reserves. This pressure, in turn, threatens its committed November 2018 launch readiness goal. The program has made progress in resolving...
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle: DOD Is Assessing Data on Worldwide Launch Market to Inform New Acquisition Strategy
GAO-16-661R: Published: Jul 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2016.
Five countries outside of the United States have operational space launch capabilities: the European Union, Russia, India, Japan, and China. Most of these countries each primarily depend on a single launch provider for launches of a specific capability within their country to meet their civil government and military launch requirements. The United States is unique in that it relies on more than tw...
Commercial Space: Industry Developments and FAA Challenges
GAO-16-765T: Published: Jun 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2016.
In 2015, GAO reported that during the last decade, U.S. commercial space launch companies conducted fewer orbital launches in total than companies in Russia or Europe, which are among their main foreign competitors. However, the U.S. commercial space launch industry has expanded recently. In 2015, U.S. companies conducted eight orbital launches, compared with none in 2011. In addition, in 2015, U...
NASA: Assessments of Major Projects
GAO-16-309SP: Published: Mar 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2016.
The cost and schedule performance of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) portfolio of major projects has improved over the past 5 years, and most current projects are adhering to their committed cost and schedule baselines. Over the last 2 years, eight projects in the portfolio established cost and schedule baselines. As the figure below shows, as the average age of the port...