Satellites (1 - 10 of 177 items)
Commercial Space: FAA Should Examine How to Appropriately Regulate Space Support Vehicles
GAO-17-100: Published: Nov 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2016.
Company officials GAO interviewed identified potential uses for “space support vehicles”—which include a variety of aircraft from high-performance jets to balloons and the aircraft portion of a hybrid launch systems (a vehicle that contains elements of both an aircraft and a rocket-powered launch vehicle)—but the size of the market for these uses is unclear. Company officials said they pla...
Global Positioning System: Observations on Quarterly Reports from the Air Force
GAO-17-162R: Published: Oct 17, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2016.
The Air Force’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) quarterly report provided important information on some of the programs’ efforts and details about its full and long-term cost, schedule, performance, testing, and risk. The report included individual program schedules and costs for some programs. However, it did not include an integrated master schedule—key information needed to demonstr...
Environmental Satellites: NOAA Needs to Ensure Its Timelines Are Accurate, Clear, and Fully Documented
GAO-16-767: Published: Sep 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) process for updating its flyout charts involves obtaining updated information on the health of operational satellites and schedules for new satellites, having relevant individuals review the updated charts, and obtaining approval from a senior NOAA official to publish the charts. This process is partially documented in a 2011 draft polic...
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle: DOD Is Assessing Data on Worldwide Launch Market to Inform New Acquisition Strategy
GAO-16-661R: Published: Jul 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2016.
Five countries outside of the United States have operational space launch capabilities: the European Union, Russia, India, Japan, and China. Most of these countries each primarily depend on a single launch provider for launches of a specific capability within their country to meet their civil government and military launch requirements. The United States is unique in that it relies on more than tw...
Defense Weather Satellites: DOD Faces Acquisition Challenges for Addressing Capability Needs
GAO-16-769T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
GAO found in March 2016 that the Department of Defense (DOD), in conducting a requirements review and Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) from 2012 to 2014, generally performed a thorough review for identifying capability gaps in meteorological and oceanographic data—also referred to as weather data—that needed to be met and determining the operational benefit of satisfying these gaps.In doing so,...
Polar Satellites: NOAA Faces Challenges and Uncertainties that Could Affect the Availability of Critical Weather Data
GAO-16-773T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
As highlighted in a May 2016 report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced technical challenges which have resulted in delays in interim milestones. In addition, NOAA faces the potential for a near-term ga...
Commercial Space: Industry Developments and FAA Challenges
GAO-16-765T: Published: Jun 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2016.
In 2015, GAO reported that during the last decade, U.S. commercial space launch companies conducted fewer orbital launches in total than companies in Russia or Europe, which are among their main foreign competitors. However, the U.S. commercial space launch industry has expanded recently. In 2015, U.S. companies conducted eight orbital launches, compared with none in 2011. In addition, in 2015, U...
Defense Weather Satellites: Analysis of Alternatives Is Useful for Certain Capabilities, but Ineffective Coordination Limited Assessment of Two Critical Capabilities
GAO-16-252R: Published: Mar 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2016.
The Department of Defense (DOD) conducted an analysis of alternatives (AOA) to identify and compare potential solutions to the department’s need for space-based environmental monitoring (SBEM) capabilities. DOD initiated the AOA in 2012—2 years after the cancellation of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, intended to replace DOD’s existing Defense Meteorol...
Space Acquisitions: Challenges Facing DOD as it Changes Approaches to Space Acquisitions
GAO-16-471T: Published: Mar 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 2016.
Most major space programs have experienced significant cost and schedule increases. For instance, program costs for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite program, a protected satellite communications system, have grown 116 percent as of our latest review, and its first satellite was launched more than 3 years late. For the Space Based Infrared System High, a missile warning satellite pro...
Environmental Satellites: Launch Delayed; NOAA Faces Key Decisions on Timing of Future Satellites
GAO-16-143T: Published: Dec 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) $10.9 billion Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) program recently delayed the planned launch of the first satellite in the new series from March 2016 to October 2016. Based on its ongoing work, GAO found that the decision to delay the launch was due to poor schedule performance over the last few years (losing mo...