$5.6 billion cost overrun: How could this happen?

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wvbraun

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According to nasawatch NASA has discovered that the Shuttle program is $5.6 billion over budget. How could this happen? It must have begun long before Griffin arrived at the agency. Wasn't O'Keefe supposed to clean up NASA's financial management system (remember the $5 billion cost overrun in the ISS program four years ago?)? Did he know about the problems (while still telling everyone the Shuttle would fly 28 missions by 2010) or were the people in accounting asleep at the wheel - and woke up when Griffin's people asked some hard questions? This is really disturbing. How can you overlook a $5.6 billion cost overrun?
 
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dobbins

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If there was something as serious as a multi-billion dollar overrun at NASA don't you think it would have been picked up by other news sources besides a web site run by a disgruntled former NASA employee?<br /><br />It certainly isn't because NASA has no foes in the media. They didn't cover up a few million wasted on plane flights when that story broke a few weeks ago. It was all over the media. Do you think they would splash a million dollar story all over the place and ignore a billion dollar story?<br /><br />
 
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wvbraun

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The cost overrun is real. Or how do you explain this memo from Griffin? Besides, nasawatch has been right on these things in the past.
 
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dobbins

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The memo concerns a reply to a request from OMB without mentioning the details of the request. OMB is allways sending out "what if" questions about proposed budget cuts.<br /><br />
 
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spacester

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It's the ghost of Psycho Dan. NASA's finances became impossible to make sense of during his tenure.<br /><br />O'Keefe, a top-notch bean counter, did the best he could to clean up the mess but didn't finish the job. It was that much of a disaster.<br /><br />I suspect the budget chaos was one of the reasons why it took so long to find O'Keefe's replacement. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>According to nasawatch NASA has discovered that the Shuttle program is $5.6 billion over budget<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Which article are you referring to ?
 
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dobbins

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And you pretend that a man with a long history of grinding axes on his web site isn't grinding another one.<br /><br />NASA watch is best read with a supply of grains of salt handy.<br />
 
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j05h

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>If there was something as serious as a multi-billion dollar overrun at NASA don't you think it would have been picked up by other news sources besides a web site run by a disgruntled former NASA employee? <br /><br />NASAWatch has the news days to weeks before other media, where do you think the science reporters get their notes? You might have the matter backwards. Keith is correct over and over again through the years.<br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">Which article are you referring to ?</font>/i><br /><br />I too could not find the implied URL. Could you please post the link.</i>
 
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erioladastra

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"It sounds like this is a prediction of future budget shortfall if the current 18 Shuttle flight plan is taken."<br /><br />Correct.
 
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erioladastra

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"The memo concerns a reply to a request from OMB without mentioning the details of the request. OMB is allways sending out "what if" questions about proposed budget cuts."<br /><br />No. This is a case of the OMB trying to drive the plan and the Whitehouse apparently listening. This is very much not a waht if.
 
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dobbins

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The problem is you have half a conversation, you have no idea what figures are in the OMB document they are replying to. The shortfall could be one that would only exist if a budget cut mentioned in the OMB document is implemented.<br /><br />Projected budget cuts are in fact common in OMB documents, it's part of the process of gathering data for projected future budgets.<br />
 
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vogon13

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Someone at NASA missed their true calling at the Pentagon. They could have gone far. Waste, such a terrible waste, when someone with that kind of talent doesn't wind up in the branch of government where they could have become a legend.<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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Far more facts are needed before any kind of judgement for or against NASA could even be attempted. Questions like the following:<br /><br />How long is the time period of this overrum?<br /><br />It could be as long as the entire shuttle program. If it is then what is the percentage of overrun over this time, I would just estimate (which is quite probably what OMB is doing at this time) that if this is over the entire shuttle programs history (after all, if you were to take 5.6 billion and say that was the overrun for just last year, then NASA would have overrun the shuttle budget by more than 100%! Even the enemies of NASA aren't prepared to go that far!) if it is over the entire program history, where the total amount spent on the shuttle is somewhere in the 100 billion area, then the overrun comes out to some 5.6 % or possibly even less. Almost ANY large multiyear engineering project you could name would more than happy with such an overrun!!<br /><br />The problem with these kinds of overall statements, is that the press has a tremendous ability to take them out of context, and to leave out such little parts as I have just pointed out!<br /><br />Now, we have on these boards some very knowledgeble internet hunters and gatherers (I am only mildly capable in this area myself) couldn't we persuade such prople to find out the truth of this matter? How about adding up all of the budgets over all of the shuttle programs history, and then adding up all of the actual shuttle expenditures over the hostory of the program (after all, such a politically visable program must have this information available to the public somewhere) a simple subtraction would then tell the truth. Just a slight mathematical calculation should give an overall percentage difference here. <br /><br />Now, personally, in doing something as complex as designing and building the STS system that had never been done before I would be quite willing to accept up to a 10% overrun without any problem at all
 
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tmccort

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<font color="yellow">How long is the time period of this overrum?</font><br /><br />Like I said, the article states that the projected overrun is for the remaining 19 Shuttle flights.
 
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shuttle_man

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Which is near impossible to account for, I think it should be said. If you take the current CAIB spending and multiply by years and missions you will get an overspend. Hey, we can all play with numbers to get something to feed the fire.
 
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shuttle_man

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"If there was something as serious as a multi-billion dollar overrun at NASA don't you think it would have been picked up by other news sources besides a web site run by a disgruntled former NASA employee?"<br /><br />Hit the nail on the head there. Bill Harewood would have picked it up if it wasn't propoganda against a former employer.
 
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wvbraun

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I guess that's why the White House is signalling Griffin that they wouldn't mind if the Shuttle program was terminated ASAP.
 
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scottb50

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Compared to the cash that was misplaced in Iraq, in washing machine sized bundles, this is just a tip. At least it probably stayed in our economy, oops, I suppose what went to Halliburton is still in our economy, to some degree, but all in all t is a pitance. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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Good Grief!! That is even dumber than dumb, a projected overrun? Evidently the OMB doesn't believe in dealing with facts. After all they ARE a political accounting group now, aren't they? <br /><br />What if another shuttle was to be lost? Do we then project that as part of a budget overrun? I am sorry, but now knowing this, this entire thread and discussion has just become silly!! This is just amunition for those NASA bashers and haters, and any reasonable person who supports the future of humanity in space should not even be a part of it!!!!!! So, have at it if you will, but I have much better things to do (like sleeping)!!<br /><br />However, as always, Have A Great Day!!
 
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shuttle_man

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"I am sorry, but now knowing this, this entire thread and discussion has just become silly!! This is just amunition for those NASA bashers and haters, and any reasonable person who supports the future of humanity in space should not even be a part of it!!!!!"<br /><br />I'm so glad to see that comment. Never a truer word said. This message board is turning into a day meeting for bitter people.
 
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frodo1008

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PS: I do have one additional comment on the title of this thread. " Re: $5.6 billion cost overrun: How could this happen?" The truth of the mater is it HASN"T yet happened as the overrun is a future projection! So even the title of the thread is silly! <br /><br />Of course, like myself I think that vwbraun was taken in, so it really isn't his fault!!
 
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wvbraun

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I'm fully aware that this is a projected overrun. But it is a cost overrun projected by NASA, not by the OMB. Obviously there are big financial problems ahead, why else would Griffin ask questions about the serial processing option? This story is not made up.<br /><br />Memo from Griffin to Gerstenmaier
 
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