Each year, the Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions of dollars to acquire space-based capabilities to support current military and other government operations as well as to enable DOD to transform the way it collects and disseminates information, gathers data on adversaries, and attacks targets. In fiscal year 2009 alone, DOD expects to spend over $10 billion to develop and procure satellites and other space systems. At the same time, however, DOD's space system acquisitions have experienced problems over the past several decades that have driven up costs by hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars; stretched schedules by years; and increased performance risks. In some cases, capabilities have not been delivered to the warfighter after decades of development. This testimony relies on the extensive body of work GAO has produced reviewing DOD space acquisitions. It comments on the persistent problems affecting space acquisitions, the actions DOD has been taking to address these problems, and what remains to be done.
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