Monday, December 1, 2008

Technology development

An interesting piece at Space Review on the importance of developing technology for space missions before committing to in-depth development of missions. Two sentences particularly caught my eye: "In the mid-1980s, NASA’s budget office found that during the first 30 years of the civil space program, no project enjoyed less than a 40% cost overrun unless it was preceded by an investment in studies and technology of at least 5Ð10% of the actual project budget that eventually occurred... Within NASA, this critical investment in new technology has been slashed to the bone in recent years: cut deliberately to the lowest levels since the early 1960s in an unsuccessful attempt to accelerate the initial operational date of the post-Space Shuttle US crew launch capability."

You can read the entire piece at

1 comment:

  1. Mention should be made here about the New Millenium Program that has been zeroed out by NASA in the proposed FY 2009 budget. I believe that Alan Stern was AA for Science when that budget was put together. Did Mr. Stern propose that cut or did he oppose it? I think that is relevant to his concern over large cost increases, as the NMP was intended to reduce risk for new technologies. If Alan supported eliminating New Millenium, then can he provide his reasons?