Status and Issues Pertaining to the Proposed Development of the Space Telescope Project

PSAD-77-98: Published: May 4, 1977. Publicly Released: May 4, 1977.


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The Space Telescope Project will develop a complex space observatory with the objectives of serving the scientific community and extending knowledge of the universe. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) estimates for Project costs have increased because of inflation factors and inclusion of changes in scope and administrative costs.

NASA has not prepared a lifecycle cost estimate for the telescope. In addition to excluded development costs of $227.2 million, operation costs of $709.4 million should be included in estimates, which would bring the lifecycle cost to about $1.4 billion. Technical uncertainties still remaining deal with component development, stabilization control, contamination effects, thermal control, and testing limitations. International cooperation has not been formally achieved, but negotiations are in the final stages. NASA is planning an institute to manage observation programs during the operational phase.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Matter for Congressional Consideration

    Matter: The NASA Administrator should provide to Congress a lifecycle cost estimate, and submit periodic project status reports if telescope development is approved.

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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