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Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle: Action Needed to Improve Visibility into Cost, Schedule, and Capacity to Resolve Technical Challenges
GAO-16-620: Published: Jul 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2016.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Orion Multi- Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion) program has overcome several technical challenges and made design changes to the crew capsule to reduce risk. Known challenges, however, remain—such as development of the service module and the crew capsule heatshield, among others—that could cause cost increases and schedule delays as the prog...
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...
Federal Research Grants: Opportunities Remain for Agencies to Streamline Administrative Requirements
GAO-16-573: Published: Jun 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2016.
Administrative requirements for federal research grants include (1) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) government-wide grant requirements for protecting against waste, fraud, and abuse of funds and (2) agency-specific requirements generally for promoting the quality and effectiveness of federally funded research. For example, OMB requires grantees to maintain records sufficient to detail the hi...
Defense Weather Satellites: DOD Faces Acquisition Challenges for Addressing Capability Needs
GAO-16-769T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
GAO found in March 2016 that the Department of Defense (DOD), in conducting a requirements review and Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) from 2012 to 2014, generally performed a thorough review for identifying capability gaps in meteorological and oceanographic data—also referred to as weather data—that needed to be met and determining the operational benefit of satisfying these gaps.In doing so,...
Polar Satellites: NOAA Faces Challenges and Uncertainties that Could Affect the Availability of Critical Weather Data
GAO-16-773T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
As highlighted in a May 2016 report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced technical challenges which have resulted in delays in interim milestones. In addition, NOAA faces the potential for a near-term ga...
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...
Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Is Working to Ensure Continuity but Needs to Quickly Address Information Security Weaknesses and Future Program Uncertainties
GAO-16-359: Published: May 17, 2016. Publicly Released: May 17, 2016.
The $11.3 billion Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced recent delays in meeting interim milestones, including a key instrument on the spacecraft that was delivered almost 2 years later than planned. In addition, the program has experienced cost growth ranging from...
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...
Defense Weather Satellites: Analysis of Alternatives Is Useful for Certain Capabilities, but Ineffective Coordination Limited Assessment of Two Critical Capabilities
GAO-16-252R: Published: Mar 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2016.
The Department of Defense (DOD) conducted an analysis of alternatives (AOA) to identify and compare potential solutions to the department’s need for space-based environmental monitoring (SBEM) capabilities. DOD initiated the AOA in 2012—2 years after the cancellation of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, intended to replace DOD’s existing Defense Meteorol...
Space Acquisitions: Challenges Facing DOD as it Changes Approaches to Space Acquisitions
GAO-16-471T: Published: Mar 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 2016.
Most major space programs have experienced significant cost and schedule increases. For instance, program costs for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite program, a protected satellite communications system, have grown 116 percent as of our latest review, and its first satellite was launched more than 3 years late. For the Space Based Infrared System High, a missile warning satellite pro...