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Saturday, April 20, 2024

NASA Sees $7.6B in Cost Overruns

Since 2022, out of the 16 major projects, eight have experienced cost overruns or scheduling delays...

(By Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has had $7.6 billion in cost overruns in 2023, down from an incredible $12 billion in cost overruns in 2022, according to a Government Accountability Office study.

The overruns come from 16 of NASA’s major projects, though the top four projects comprise the majority of the overruns. These include the Space Launch System, Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle, Exploration Ground Systems and James Webb Space Telescope.

Of these, the Space Launch System and Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle projects led with $2.7 billion and $2.5 billion in overruns, respectively, in both 2022 and 2023. The James Webb Space Telescope had the highest overrun in 2022 at $4.5 billion, but it has since launched and thus has no more overruns in 2023.

Since 2022, out of the 16 major projects, eight have experienced cost overruns or scheduling delays, including some delays of over a year. To combat these overruns and delays, NASA has proposed a simple solution: having discussions on acquisition strategies earlier in the process.

NASA plans to spend $83 billion on major projects, but concerns over its project management and efficiency have lingered for years. The GAO has listed NASA’s acquisition strategy as a High Risk Area since 1990. It is tied for the oldest high risk area on the list, and after 33 years, it has yet to be addressed.

Unlike the colossal Department of Defense, which has some of its inefficiency to blame on its sheer scale, NASA has no excuse for continual cost overruns. If it can’t get its fiscal house in order, Congress should seriously reevaluate its funding levels going forward.

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