Category Archives: Space

NASA And The GAO

The latest major project assessment is out:

Three of the largest projects in this critical stage of development—Exploration Ground Systems, Orion, and the Space Launch System—continue to face cost, schedule, and technical risks. In April 2017, we found that the first integrated test flight of these systems, known as Exploration Mission-1, will likely be delayed beyond November 2018.

NASA concurred with our findings and is currently conducting an assessment to establish a new launch date. Because NASA’s assessment is ongoing, the cost implications of the schedule delay and its effect on the projects’ baselines are still unknown. However, given that these three human space exploration programs represent more than half of NASA’s current portfolio development cost baseline, a cost increase or delay could have substantial repercussions not only for these programs but NASA’s entire portfolio.

You don’t say.

[Update mid afternoon]

Bob Zubrin isn’t happy with NASA’s current Mars plans:

During the Apollo program, the NASA’s mission-driven human spaceflight program spent money in order to do great things. Now, lacking a mission, it just does things in order to spend a great deal of money.

Why is NASA proposing a lunar-orbiting space station? The answer to that is simple. It’s to give its Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion capsule programs something to do. The utility of such activity is not a concern. As a result, nothing useful will be accomplished.

Because Congress isn’t serious.

[Update a few minutes later]

Bob Zimmerman has some caustic thoughts on the GAO report.

[Thursday-morning update]

Bob Zimmerman isn’t happy about the cost overruns on the engine test stands. Neither am I. These aren’t the costs, they’re the overruns. On test stands for engines for a rocket we don’t need, and can’t afford to operate.

Also Ethan Siegal agrees with Bob Zubrin that a cislunar station is a waste of time and money.

[Bumped]

[Update mid-afternoon]

NASA doesn’t have any good answers as to why the test stands were being built in Alabama. We know the answer. It’s not a good one.

EM-1

It this is true, it’s outrageously hypocritical. A dangerous pointless stunt.

[Update a few minutes later]

More thoughts from Doug Messier.

[Update a while later]

Bob Zimmerman is less than impressed.

[Tuesday-morning update]

[Bumped]

Friday-morning update]

[Bumped again]

[Update just before noon Pacific]

Listen to the press conference live here.

[Update after presser has started]

Emilee Speck is quick to the draw.

[Update a few minutes later]

Chris BerginGebhart has a more detailed story (much of which was probably pre-written).

[Update a while later]

Here‘s Jeff Foust’s take.

[Update mid afternoon]

Eric Berger: Blame the Senate for the schedule delays.