Space Station:

Program Instability and Cost Growth Continue Pending Redesign

NSIAD-93-187: Published: May 18, 1993. Publicly Released: May 18, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) updated information on the total cost of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) space station program; (2) updated its analysis concerning the share of NASA future years' budgets that the space station and related activities would require under the current design; and (3) reported on the current and prospective status of financial reserves for the space station program.

GAO found that: (1) the NASA cost estimate of $30 billion for the station did not include some cost elements attributable to the space station program; (2) some large NASA programs threaten to consume increasing shares of the agency's annual appropriations; (3) over $11.2 billion has been appropriated for the space station and related development through fiscal year 1993; (4) in fiscal years 1998 through 2000, all shuttle flights will be dedicated to assembling or using the existing space station design; (5) the space station program is not maintaining financial reserves to offset unanticipated program requirements, cost growth, and schedule delays; and (6) increased cost estimates for the current space station design exceed the reserves for the next 3 years.

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