Space ProjectsImprovements Needed in Selecting Future Projects for Private Financing Gao ID: NSIAD-90-147 September 21, 1990
GAO assessed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) efforts to find acceptable private financing sources for seven space projects.
GAO found that: (1) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and NASA selected and removed six of the seven projects selected from the NASA budget request before adequately evaluating their suitability for commercialization; (2) commercial aerospace, construction, and finance companies were not willing to invest in four projects because they perceived that few or no commercial markets existed; (3) a NASA market survey found no interest in joint use or shared ownership of the weightlessness laboratory; (4) some projects were too far along in their development to be considered for commercialization without incurring redesign cost and causing delays; (5) potential investors were not willing to invest in the robotic arm and the space station docking system because they believed the technical risk was too high; (6) NASA economic analyses showed that private financing could be significantly more expensive than government financing; (7) four of the unsuccessful commercialization projects may not receive any significant funding in fiscal year 1990 and have been delayed; and (8) the final analysis of the government's financing options for the advanced solid rocket motor production facility did not adequately address the government's interest-rate risk.Recommendations
Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.Director: Team: Phone: