Space Station:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration's 1987 Cost Estimate

NSIAD-87-180FS: Published: Jul 21, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the methodology the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) used in estimating the cost of a permanent manned space station program.

GAO found that: (1) in late 1986, the NASA Administrator directed the revalidation or modification of a 1984 space station cost estimate of $8 billion; (2) NASA estimated the cost of each known detailed work element of the space station and used analogous and parametric cost-estimating techniques for other elements; (3) NASA primarily focused on the cost of designing and developing space station hardware and of transporting it to the launch site; (4) NASA did not include costs it incurred in defining the space station concept, or would incur to operate experiments in space; (5) NASA did not include station-related costs that it would fund from other appropriation accounts; (6) excluded costs could add $650 million to the estimate of annual operating expenses; and (7) in February 1987, NASA estimated that the costs of station development and operation would total $19.8 billion through fiscal year 1998.

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