NASA’s over-expenditures

Strict adherence to budget is a must, be it your home or country if you have thousand dollars and spend ten thousand, there is no way to escape the apocalypse that will come from the authorities. Something alike happened with NASA, the budget allotted for skyrocketing project underwent an over-run and now has become a troublemaker, as you are answerable to the authorities.  

NASA had to explain to Congressional subcommittee regarding the additional expenses and recurring delays during the past year. Congress sitting in for the meeting suggests that a tap is on the head for NASA too, for NASA however, this is one of the reasons going to space and exploring it is difficult. 

What Congress feels is that NASA does not plan properly and that’s why in the execution of essential missions, there is always an extra cost incurred and dramatic delays in schedule. Government Accountability Office (GAO) presented a report showing that things have gone out of control. On an average, every project is facing a delay of twelve months, the highest seen in ten years. The cost has gone as high as eighteen percent extra of the estimated sum. The Orion crew vehicle itself is showing an additional expense of twenty-two percent. NASA has not demonstrated such a rise in costs suddenly, preferably from 2012 to 2014, the expenses were higher than now, but the government wanted to warn them before the red alert.

The four major projects which are the reason behind all this are

1.    Space Launch System (SLS)

2.    Exploration Ground Systems

3.    The Mars 2020 program, and

4.    Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS)

Collectively a sum of about $638 million and a duration of fifty-nine months extra than planned has incurred. Seventeen projects owing to performance deterioration and technical issues have made the situation worse.

At Rayburn House office building in Washington, the hearing took place where the cost of twenty-six projects was discussed. The Congress stated that the performance has deteriorated and expenses have increased drastically in last few years. Because of mechanical disturbances and unforeseen challenges, which might have been avoided with better preparation, the budget has gone higher than anticipated. 

Money must be a big challenge for NASA now, the decision taking in a government-funded agency is not as quick as a privately owned firm. Now the comparison is being made with companies like SpaceX which have proved to perform actions in a reduced cost, but the fact that innovating which requires trial and error needs more resources than re-creating what already has been made.

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