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Environmental Satellites: Focused Attention Needed to Mitigate Program Risks

GAO-12-841T Published: Jun 27, 2012. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2012.
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What GAO Found

As requested, this statement summarizes our two reports being released today on (1) the status, plans, and risks for JPSS and (2) the status, schedule management process, and risk management process within the GOES-R program. We found that the JPSS cost and GOES-R contractor cost data were sufficiently reliable for our purposes. Further, while we found that the GOES-R schedule and management reserve data were not sufficiently reliable, we reported on the data’s shortcomings in our report.

Why GAO Did This Study

This testimony discusses two satellite acquisition programs within the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) programs are meant to replace current operational satellites, and both are considered critical to the United States’ ability to maintain the continuity of data required for weather forecasting.

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Geostationary operational environmental satellitesSatellitesSpace exploration vehicleNational polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite systemProject critical pathBudgetsWeather satellitesRisk managementCost and scheduleCost estimates