Accession Number : ADA326550

Title :   Access to Space: Issues Associated with DOD's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL A FFAIRS DIV

PDF Url : ADA326550

Report Date : 24 JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 34

Abstract : The federal government currently uses a fleet of expendable launch vehicles-Delta, Atlas, and Titan-to transport a variety of national security and civil satellites into space. According to DOD, these vehicles (which are acquired by DOD), currently operate at or near their maximum performance capability. Also, DOD and congressional sources consider these vehicles to be very costly to produce and launch. Since 1987, the government has made several attempts to develop a new launch vehicle system, but these attempts were canceled either because of funding issues, changing requirements, or controversy regarding the best solution. In 1994, by congressional direction, DOD developed a space launch modernization plan that led to the initiation of the EELV program. Currently, two contractors-Lockheed Martin Astronautics and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace-are competing in a pre-EMD phase, and one is to be chosen for the EMD phase. Of the total planned $2 billion investment, the EMD phase is expected to cost about $1.6 billion and take approximately 6 years. Concurrent with the EMD decision, DOD plans to authorize the start of EELV production. An initial quantity of 29 launch vehicles is estimated to cost about $1.5 billion. In addition, toward the end of the EMD phase, a decision is to be made on whether to produce a significantly larger quantity that would cost several billion dollars.

Descriptors :   *EXPENDABLE, *LAUNCH VEHICLES, CONGRESS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, SPACE TECHNOLOGY, NATIONAL SECURITY, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, PRODUCTION, COST ESTIMATES, ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES, CIVIL AFFAIRS, ASTRONAUTICS.

Subject Categories : Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE