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Environmental Satellites: Launch Delayed; NOAA Faces Key Decisions on Timing of Future Satellites
GAO-16-143T: Published: Dec 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) $10.9 billion Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) program recently delayed the planned launch of the first satellite in the new series from March 2016 to October 2016. Based on its ongoing work, GAO found that the decision to delay the launch was due to poor schedule performance over the last few years (losing mo...
Space Acquisitions: GAO Assessment of DOD Responsive Launch Report
GAO-16-156R: Published: Oct 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2015.
The Department of Defense's (DOD) June 2015 report generally addresses four of the five elements called for in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 (Pub. L. No. 113-66, 915 (2013)), including descriptions of existing and past operationally responsive launch efforts ("responsive launch" refers to the ability to launch space assets to their intended orbits as the need a...
Strategic Sourcing: Opportunities Exist to Better Manage Information Technology Services Spending
GAO-15-549: Published: Sep 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 2015.
Efforts by the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to strategically manage spending for information technology (IT) services, such as software design and development, have improved in recent years. Each of the agencies GAO reviewed has designated officials responsible for strategic sourcing and created offices to ident...
Space Situational Awareness: Status of Efforts and Planned Budgets
GAO-16-6R: Published: Oct 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2015.
Space systems provide critical capabilities essential for government and commercial operations. These systems are increasingly vulnerable to a variety of intentional and unintentional threats. The government relies primarily on the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Intelligence Community to provide Space Situational Awareness (SSA)â€”the current and predictive knowledge and characterization of s...
GPS: Actions Needed to Address Ground System Development Problems and User Equipment Production Readiness
GAO-15-657: Published: Sep 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2015.
The Air Force has experienced significant difficulties developing the Global Positioning System (GPS) next generation operational control system (OCX) and consistently overstated progress to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) compared to advisory independent assessments it received. It needs $1.1 billion and 4 years more than planned to deliver OCX due to poor acquisition decisions and a...
Space Launch System: Management Tools Should Better Track to Cost and Schedule Commitments to Adequately Monitor Increasing Risk
GAO-15-596: Published: Jul 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2015.
The cost and schedule estimates for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) program substantially complied with five of six relevant best practices, but could not be deemed fully reliable because they only partially met the sixth best practiceâ€”credibility. While an independent NASA office reviewed the estimate developed by the program and as a result...
International Space Station: Challenges to Increased Utilization May Affect Return on Investment
GAO-15-722T: Published: Jul 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 2015.
Based on GAO analysis of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) fiscal year 2016 budget estimate, the agency anticipates that the costs to operate, sustain, perform research, and provide crew and cargo transportation to the International Space Station (ISS) are projected to increase by almost $1 billionâ€”or almost 53 percentâ€”from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2020 when the...
Highlights of a Forum: 3D Printing: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Implications of Additive Manufacturing
GAO-15-505SP: Published: Jun 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2015.
What Participants SaidForum participants identified many opportunities for using additive manufacturingâ€”also known as three-dimensional (3D) printingâ€”to produce functional parts and discussed benefits that have been realized in the medical, aerospace, and defense sectors. For example, they said that the medical industry is using additive manufacturing to produce customized prosthetics and impl...
International Space Station: Measurable Performance Targets and Documentation Needed to Better Assess Management of National Laboratory
GAO-15-397: Published: Apr 27, 2015. Publicly Released: May 27, 2015.
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, has taken steps to fulfill its management responsibilities contained in its cooperative agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and has initiated the activities required by the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. GAO found that CASIS impleme...
Space Acquisitions: Some Programs Have Overcome Past Problems, but Challenges and Uncertainty Remain for the Future
GAO-15-492T: Published: Apr 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2015.
In recent and ongoing work, GAO has found that several space system acquisitions have largely overcome acquisition challengesâ€”such as matching resources to requirements, facilitating competition, and parts quality issuesâ€”and are producing and launching satellites. But other programs continue to face difficulties, both in technology development and in ensuring ground and user systems are delive...