The Bucks for Space

This should not come as a shock, but the Congressional Budget Office says the Pentagon’s plans for unclassified space programs faces potential cost growth problems and schedule slippages. We heard this from Peter Teets, USAF’s former undersecretary, back in the spring. (Read our report here.) CBO, which has just put numbers to paper, per a request from the House Appropriations Committee, estimates that future spending on space programs would peak at $10 billion in 2010. However, CBO cautioned, historically space programs experience a 69 percent cost growth in RDT&E and 19 percent in procurement, so the peak could be $14.4 billion. See the CBO graph here. The good news from CBO about schedule slippages is that they shouldn’t lead to a decline in capability, since most military space systems last much longer than anticipated.