NASA Simply Has No Idea How To Control Costs

GAO Report - NASA Assessments of Major Projects, GAO

"Continuing a recent trend, NASA's portfolio of major projects experienced significant cost and schedule overruns and more projects were added (see figure). Of the 21 major projects in the development phase of NASA's acquisition process (which includes building and launching the system), 15 were responsible for cumulative cost overruns of about $12 billion and cumulative schedule delays of 28 years. But just three projects--the James Webb Space Telescope, Space Launch System, and Orion--are responsible for more than three-quarters of the cost growth and almost half of the delays.

In the past year, the majority of NASA's projects in development increased their cost estimates, schedule estimates, or both. Technical issues and new scope were the primary causes of overruns. However, COVID-19 exacerbated these challenges with government and contractor facility shutdowns and remote work.

Current overruns and the risk of future COVID-19 issues could have a cascading effect on NASA's ability to manage its portfolio. NASA designates cost reserves to help projects address risks. However, when projects exhaust these reserves and need additional funding, it can limit the agency's ability to fund existing missions or start new ones. For example, NASA officials said some new projects are preparing for later launch dates due in part to funding limitations caused by other projects' cost overruns. NASA is taking steps to improve its portfolio management, but it is too soon to determine the results of these efforts."

- NASA's Cost Estimating Process Is Flawed. Duh. Who Knew?, earlier post
- NASA Still Has No Idea What A SLS Launch Will Cost
- Yet Another GAO Report That NASA Will Automatically Ignore, earlier post
- GAO: Human Space Exploration: Persistent Delays and Cost Growth Reinforce Concerns over Management of Programs, earlier post
- GAO: NASA Assessments of Major Projects, earlier post
- GAO Releases Report Critical of NASA, Citing Financial Risks Involved With CEV Acquisition, earlier post
- GAO: NASA: Assessments of Major Projects, earlier post
- GAO Report: NASA - Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects, earlier post
- NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects, earlier post
- NASA: Lack of Disciplined Cost-Estimating Processes Hinders Effective Program Management , earlier post
NASA Needs Integrated Strategy to Control Mission Costs

And so on

  • submit to reddit

John Glenn Memorial Symposium - July 18-20, 2022
Kepler Communications

Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 23, 2022 3:08 PM.

Watching The Future Roll By The Past At KSC (Part 2) was the previous entry in this blog.

NASAWatch On CGTN: BRICS Nations, Space, And Politics is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.