Department of Defense Spacelift in a Fiscally Constrained Environment
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The Department of Defense DoD has come under increased scrutiny in recent years due to poorly performing acquisition programs and massive budgetary requirements. In addition to a challenging economy, prolonged conflict since 2001, and a U.S. national debt that exceeded 14 trillion at the end of 2010, the DoD is looking to reduce its overall budget by nearly a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. One of the most critical areas in which the DoD has failed to successfully manage acquisitions is within the portfolio for space systems. One aspect of this portfolio includes the acquisition of launch services under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program to enable space-based capabilities. This program was initiated in the 1990s and was meant to replace expensive DoD-exclusive launch programs by teaming with commercial businesses to lower launch costs. Unfortunately, launch costs under the current program are on the rise and the spacelift industrial base continues to shrink. Because of these economic and programmatic challenges, this study aims to evaluate whether DoD spacelift requirements can be achieved in a more efficient way without reducing the success rates or launch production rates currently realized under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Unmanned Spacecraft
- Ground Support Systems and Facilities for Space Vehicles
- Manned Spacecraft