Space Transportation: Critical Areas NASA Needs to Address in Managing Its Reusable Launch Vehicle Program

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) X-33 and X-34 reusable launch vehicle programs. The two programs experienced difficulties achieving their goals primarily because NASA did not develop realistic cost estimates, timely acquisition and risk management plans, and adequate and realistic performance goals. In particular, neither program fully (1) assessed the costs associated with developing new, unproven technologies, (2) provided for the financial reserves needed to deal with technical risks and accommodate normal development delays, (3) developed plans to quantify and mitigate the risks to ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 20, 2001.

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) X-33 and X-34 reusable launch vehicle programs. The two programs experienced difficulties achieving their goals primarily because NASA did not develop realistic cost estimates, timely acquisition and risk management plans, and adequate and realistic performance goals. In particular, neither program fully (1) assessed the costs associated with developing new, unproven technologies, (2) provided for the financial reserves needed to deal with technical risks and accommodate normal development delays, (3) developed plans to quantify and mitigate the risks to NASA, or (4) established performance targets showing a clear path leading to an operational reusable launch vehicle. As a result, both programs were terminated. Currently, NASA is in the process of taking steps in the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program to help avoid problems like those encountered in the X-33 and X-34 programs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 20, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Space Transportation: Critical Areas NASA Needs to Address in Managing Its Reusable Launch Vehicle Program, text, June 20, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290284/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.