Accession Number : ADA615836


Title :   Space Acquisitions: Some Programs Have Overcome Past Problems, but Challenges and Uncertainty Remain for the Future


Descriptive Note : Congressional testimony


Corporate Author : GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC


Personal Author(s) : Chaplain, Cristina T


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a615836.pdf


Report Date : 29 Apr 2015


Pagination or Media Count : 25


Abstract : In recent and ongoing work, GAO has found that several space system acquisitions have largely overcome acquisition challenges such as matching resources to requirements, facilitating competition, and parts quality issues and are producing and launching satellites. But other programs continue to face difficulties, both in technology development and in ensuring ground and user systems are delivered in time to maximize a satellite s capability. Specifically: GAO reported in 2015 that, while the most recent Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite program took steps to avoid past problems with satellite acquisitions, it is facing more than a 2-year delay for its satellite launch due to development problems. A complete GPS III satellite has not yet been tested, and the program is now rebaselining its cost estimates as a result of the schedule delay and associated increased costs. The next-generation ground system needed to operate GPS satellites has experienced significant schedule delays and cost growth, and is still facing technical challenges. During development, the contractor encountered problems that led to significant rework, delaying the delivery of the ground system. As a result, as GAO s ongoing work for this committee is finding, some GPS satellite capability will likely go unused for several years while the capability of the ground system catches up to the functionality of the satellites. While new missile warning satellites are now on orbit after years of delays and significant cost growth, the ground system needed to operate the satellites is still in development, meaning the satellites cannot be fully utilized complete and usable data from the satellites will not be available until over 5 years after the first satellite was launched, based on recent updates.


Descriptors :   *ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES , ACQUISITION , COST ESTIMATES , GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM , SCHEDULING , UNCERTAINTY , WARNING SYSTEMS


Subject Categories : Unmanned Spacecraft


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE