Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is a triagency acquisition--managed by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)--that has experienced escalating costs, schedule delays, and technical difficulties. These factors led to a June 2006 decision to restructure the program by reducing the number of satellites and sensors, increasing estimated costs to $12.5 billion, and delaying the first two satellites by 3 to 5 years. Among other objectives, GAO ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 16, 2008.

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is a triagency acquisition--managed by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)--that has experienced escalating costs, schedule delays, and technical difficulties. These factors led to a June 2006 decision to restructure the program by reducing the number of satellites and sensors, increasing estimated costs to $12.5 billion, and delaying the first two satellites by 3 to 5 years. Among other objectives, GAO was asked to evaluate progress in restructuring the acquisition, assess the status of key program components and risks, and assess NASA's, NOAA's, and DOD's plans for obtaining the data originally planned to be collected by NPOESS sensors, but eliminated by the restructuring. To do so, GAO analyzed program and contractor data, attended program reviews, and interviewed agency officials."

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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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  • May 16, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity, report, May 16, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301529/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.