NASA's X-33 and X-34 Programs

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Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This report (1) reviews the usefulness of cooperative agreements as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contractual mechanism, (2) the reasons behind NASA's aggressive and rapid-style management of the X-33 and X-34 programs, (3) the timeliness of NASA's plans to generate adequate program cost estimates for gauging management reserves in the 15-20 percent range, and (4) the influence of the Young report on NASA's management style regarding the restructured X-34 Program. GAO found that the X-33 cooperative agreement limited NASA's exposure to cost growth and allowed industry ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. August 13, 2001.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This report (1) reviews the usefulness of cooperative agreements as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contractual mechanism, (2) the reasons behind NASA's aggressive and rapid-style management of the X-33 and X-34 programs, (3) the timeliness of NASA's plans to generate adequate program cost estimates for gauging management reserves in the 15-20 percent range, and (4) the influence of the Young report on NASA's management style regarding the restructured X-34 Program. GAO found that the X-33 cooperative agreement limited NASA's exposure to cost growth and allowed industry to embark on such a program at relatively modest investment. To meet the goal set in 1994 by the White House Space Policy, NASA implemented the Reusable Launch Vehicle Program, incorporating a "fast-track" management approach and "new ways of doing business." NASA did not conduct cost estimates before awarding several contracts, thereby increasing the risk that the management reserves might not be sufficient to cover additional contract costs. NASA restructured the plan for the X-34 Program in response to both X-34 Program technical reviews and other internal assessments of NASA programs, including reports on the failed Mars missions, the shuttle wiring problems, as well as an assessment of NASA's approach to executing its "Faster, Better, Cheaper" projects."

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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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  • August 13, 2001

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. NASA's X-33 and X-34 Programs, text, August 13, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301109/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.