Mission Costs: Moving the Goal Posts at NASA

NASA's cost overruns soar, too, AP

"The Mars Science Laboratory, which has ballooned to a $2.3 billion price tag, is a good example of NASA's approach. In 2003, its cost was put at $650 million on the National Academy of Sciences wish list, which NASA used to set priorities. But on Tuesday Doug McCuistion, who heads NASA's Mars exploration program, said the proper estimate to start with was $1.4 billion, not $650 million, because it was not an official NASA projection. By December, the number was up to $1.9 billion. Then technical problems delayed launch plans from this year to 2011, adding another $400 million. The extra money came from cuts to other science projects. "The costs of badly run NASA projects are paid for with cutbacks or delays in NASA projects that didn't go over budget," Stern wrote. "Hence the guilty are rewarded and the innocent are punished."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 8, 2009 4:35 PM.

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