Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 5
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions 1 Introduction THE INHERENT CHALLENGES OF SPACE MISSIONS The allure of space is that it enables unique observations of Earth and the cosmos. However, underlying all that is said in this report is the empirical fact that access to space, with instruments capable of making measurements of either scientific or operational1 utility, is both costly and complex. Even a comparatively simple Earth or space science mission developed in the streamlined “principal investigator”2 (PI) management style may require several years of effort and incur costs measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars, while more complex multi-instrument “facility-class” or “flagship” missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope may require a decade or more of effort and incur costs measured in the billions of dollars. While the capability of space missions has increased over time—a reflection of technology evolution—overall mission costs have remained high. High mission costs are typically accompanied by a decreased tolerance for risk,3 which in turn leads to additional layers of review and risk mitigation during mission development, producing a positive feedback cycle that results in both increased conservatism and mission cost. Not surprisingly, much thought and effort have gone into investigating ways to reduce mission costs. NASA’s experiment to deviate substantially from what had been viewed as overly conservative (and costly) acquisition practices with a “faster, better, cheaper” model of mission development led to both success (the 1996 Mars Path- 1 Here the committee defines an “operational” system as one that meets user needs for unbroken data streams. Familiar examples are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Air Force meteorological satellite programs that provide data and imagery for use in numerical weather prediction and to support military operations. 2 The “PI-mode” of mission management allows the scientist full authority and accountability for the success of the mission and puts NASA in the role of assisting—rather than directing. The PI picks the science question to be answered and the measurement approach to take, and has end-to-end mission management responsibility and authority. See two reports of the National Research Council, Steps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions (2004) and Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences (2006); both reports are published by The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., and available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record _id=10949 and http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11530, respectively. Principle-investigator mode and facility-class missions are discussed in more detail in NASA NPR 7120.5D, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements or the interim directive, NM 7120-81, as well as NASA NPR 8705.4—Risk Classification for NASA Payloads. 3 There are a number of kinds of risks for a mission. For example, risks could include failure to meet agreed-upon technical performance requirements, compromised system reliability, unacceptable schedule delays, or cost overruns.
OCR for page 6
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions finder Mission) and failure (notably the losses in 1999 of the Mars Polar Lander and the Mars Climate Orbiter).4 The appropriate balance for managing schedule, mission capability, and funding has thus proven elusive, leading to alternating calls for increased funding, less complex missions, schedule relief, or some combination of the three. Further, the continued search for an optimal and balanced solution has led many to call for increases in interagency collaboration. In this report, “collaboration” is used as an overarching term that refers to more than one agency working together to plan and implement space missions in Earth and space science. The committee discusses different levels of collaboration below, which vary in the degree of interdependency between collaborating entities. Mission collaboration can be undertaken by agency partners hoping to achieve a particular benefit or to avoid a particular difficulty. For example, agencies may collaborate when neither has the technical capabilities and resources to develop a program or execute a mission alone, or when a single measurement can provide for the needs of multiple agencies in a cost-effective way. In their briefings to the committee, there was agreement among the representatives from the study sponsor, NASA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy that multiagency missions would become more likely in the future and that such partnerships were to be encouraged. However, any collaboration effort needs to take into account differing styles of program management and different agency mandates, that is, NASA’s role as primarily a research and development agency; the National Science Foundation’s role as a supporter of basic research; and the principal roles of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey as operational, mission-oriented agencies.5 The committee thus examined numerous examples of interagency collaborations to determine whether such joint endeavors served to reduce cost, complexity, or risk.6 PREVIOUS STUDIES OF INTERAGENCY COOPERATION Although there has not been a single study that specifically examined issues related to interagency collaboration on Earth and space observations, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study in 2005 that identified key practices that can help enhance and sustain agency collaboration in general.7 As detailed in the chapters that follow, the present committee finds broad agreement with the principles enunciated in the GAO report. In particular, the GAO report states that: Collaboration can be broadly defined as any joint activity that is intended to produce more public value than could be produced when the organizations act alone. Agencies can enhance and sustain their collaborative efforts by engaging in the eight practices identified below. Running throughout these practices are a number of factors such as leadership, trust, and organizational culture that are necessary elements for a collaborative working relationship: Define and articulate a common outcome; Establish mutually reinforcing or joint strategies; Identify and address needs by leveraging resources; 4 For example, see testimony of A. Thomas Young, chairman of the Mars Program Independent Assessment Team, before the House Science Committee, April 12, 2000, available at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=1444. Also see the Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board, Report on Project Management in NASA by the Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., March 13, 2000, available at http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/news/reports.html; and, A successful strategy for satellite development and testing, in Crosslink: The Aerospace Magazine of Advances in Aerospace Technology, Volume 6, Number 3 (Fall 2005), available at http://www.aero.org/publications/crosslink/fall2005/index.html. 5 National Research Council, Mission to Planet Earth: Space Science in the Twenty-First Century—Imperatives for the Decades 1995 to 2015, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1988, available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=753, p. 107. 6 The committee notes that although the emphasis of this report is on impediments to interagency collaboration, many of the same recommendations and best practices also apply to intra-agency collaboration situations, because even internal to a single agency there can be cultural and process differences that challenge mission implementation. See, for example, NASA, The CALIPSO Mission: Project Management in the “PI Mode”: Who’s in Charge?, NASA Case Study GSFC-1011C-1, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., 2007, available at http://library.gsfc.nasa.gov/casestudies/public/GSFC-1011C-1-CALIPSO.pdf. 7 Government Accountability Office, Results-Oriented Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance and Sustain Collaboration among Federal Agencies, GAO-06-15, Washington, D.C., October 2005.
OCR for page 7
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions Agree on roles and responsibilities; Establish compatible policies, procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries; Develop mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results; Reinforce agency accountability for collaborative efforts through agency plans and reports; and Reinforce individual accountability for collaborative efforts through performance management systems.8 Box 1.1 summarizes conclusions from two reports on international space program cooperation that highlight similar conclusions. Similar general conclusions have been reached when considering partnerships outside the space sciences. A 1995 RAND report, Pros and Cons of International Weapons Procurement Collaboration,9 used case study evidence to identify many of the same attributes that are associated with successful U.S.-European programs for co-development of weapons systems. In a study commissioned by the Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS)10 on the role of interagency collaboration11 in producing information relevant to county directors as they address issues of service integration, the authors note that “the first and perhaps most compelling motivation to collaborate is that collaboration has come to enjoy broad acceptance in political and professional circles as a way to address a variety of problems in the human service system.”12 In addition, the study’s authors note that “the policy environment, reflecting conventional wisdom on collaboration, is replete with exhortations, mandates, and other incentives for public agencies to work across agency boundaries.”13 The external factors driving collaboration in human services are similar to the factors driving collaboration in Earth and space science missions; that is, the policy environment is encouraging, even pushing, collaborations. Also important to note is that the guidance offered by the present committee regarding conditions for successful collaboration is similar to that of SACHS study’s four “prerequisites” to collaboration:14 Incentive—mandated versus voluntary collaboration; Willingness—the level of trust among participants, shared values, open communication, and a commitment to making it work; Ability—relevant knowledge and skills; and Capacity—the existence of relevant rules, regulations, norms, communication systems, etc. that can enable collaboration. These factors map well with the committee’s findings, described in Chapter 3, regarding the impact of top-down versus bottom-up imperatives to collaborate and the anecdotal reports the committee received regarding the importance of a shared vision for a multiagency effort, good communications, and acceptance at all levels of the collaborating organizations. 8 Ibid.; see detailed discussion on pp. 10-25. 9 M.A. Lorell and J.F. Lowell, Pros and Cons of International Weapons Procurement Collaboration, RAND Monograph/Report Series, MR-565-OSD, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif., 1995. 10 The Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS), a county/university partnership, is a forum for County Human Services Agency directors in southern California and School of Social Work deans to explore and exchange ideas and information on issues facing public human services, and to develop strategies for addressing these needs. 11 In the SACHS-commissioned study, “collaboration” is defined as “a broad concept that encompasses relationships, formal and informal, between programs in an agency or across agencies in which the parties share or exchange resources in order to achieve common goals.” 12 Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS), Seeking Better Performance Through Interagency Collaboration: Prospects and Challenges, prepared by R. Patti, T. Packard, D. Daly, J. Tucker-Tatlow, and K. Prosek, with the assistance of A. Potter and C. Gibson, SACHS, San Diego, Calif., February 2003, available at http://theacademy.sdsu.edu/programs/SACHS/research.htm, p. vii. 13 SACHS, Seeking Better Performance Through Interagency Collaboration: Prospects and Challenges, 2003, p. vii. 14 P. Robertson, Interorganizational relationships: Key issues for integrated services, pp. 67-78 in Universities and Communities: Remaking Professional and Interprofessional Education for the Next Century (J. McCroskey and S. Einbinder, eds.), Praeger Publishers, Westport, Conn., 1998.
OCR for page 8
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions BOX 1.1 Lessons Learned from International Space Program Cooperation Two independent studies of international space program collaboration—one focused on space science missions and the other on the International Space Station (ISS)—also provide potentially relevant insights for assessing interagency collaboration. Some of their key findings are summarized here. In a 1998 report,1 a joint committee of the Space Studies Board and the European Space Science Committee identified the following as elements essential to successful international cooperation in space research missions: Scientific support—compelling scientific justification of a mission and strong support from the scientific community. All partners need to recognize that international cooperative efforts should not be entered into solely because they are international in scope. Historical foundation—partners have a common scientific heritage that provides a basis of cooperation and a context within which a mission fits. Shared goals and objectives for international cooperation that go beyond the objectives of scientists to include those of the engineers and others involved in a joint mission. Clearly defined responsibilities and a clear understanding of how they are to be shared among the partners, a clear management scheme with a well-defined interface between the parties, and efficient communication. Sound plan for data access and distribution—a well-organized and agreed-upon process for data calibration, validation, access, and distribution. Sense of partnership that nurtures mutual respect and confidence among participants. Beneficial characteristics—successful missions have had at least one (but usually more) of the following characteristics: Unique and complementary capabilities offered by each international partner; Contributions made by each partner that are considered vital for the mission; Significant net cost reductions for each partner, which can be documented rigorously, leading to favorable cost-benefit ratios; International scientific and political context and impetus; and Synergistic effects and cross-fertilization or benefit. Recognition of importance of reviews—periodic monitoring of mission goals and execution to ensure that missions are timely, efficient, and prepared to respond to unforeseen problems. THE SPECTRUM OF INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION Interagency or multiagency collaboration may occur under a variety of arrangements and govern a wide range of engineering, technology, and acquisition elements in mission development and subsequent operations. Yet calls for “increased collaboration” rarely specify the level of collaboration being called for. The committee has thus defined four categories that span the spectrum of examined interagency collaborations to allow for a more complete discussion of the associated risks and to encourage advocates to be more specific about the expected degree of interagency collaboration. The committee employed a three-part approach to analyzing interagency collaborations. First, the committee had briefings and discussions with many current and former government officials and others about their experiences and insights regarding interagency collaboration in space missions. (See Appendix E for meeting agendas.) Second, as called for in the study charge (Appendix A), the committee selected a set of projects as case studies that could illuminate similarities in and distinctions between different kinds of collaborations. (See Appendix C
OCR for page 9
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions In 2009 the senior representatives of the five ISS international partner agencies summarized lessons2 from collaborations to design, develop, construct, and operate the ISS. The lessons were intended for use by future international space projects, but many, such as those listed below, may also have relevance to interagency activities: Accommodate partner’s objectives—Recognizing the importance of a partner’s agenda can help to mitigate conflicts and aid in fostering the realization of common goals. Establish realistic expectations—The purpose of collaboration requires clear, thorough definition, ensuring that the goals are commensurate with available resources. Use clear mission objectives to drive support—Ambitious, attractive, and achievable mission objectives can help to ensure stable support of a mission. Achievements must be timely and comprehensively reported, with continuous progress toward achieving mission objectives. Ensure that all mission objectives are well integrated—Roles, responsibilities, and the scope of activities must be established throughout the mission at a high level. Carefully balance specificity and flexibility in program agreements—Explicit partnership agreements are important but need to allow flexibility in order for each partner to contribute to the resolution of unforeseen circumstances. Defining the roles, duties, and commitments of each partner can provide an overarching framework for achieving objectives. Use a consensus approach to decision making—Governance by consensus provides assurance that partners are invested in decisions, management, and other issues. Consensus can be built by identifying the interests of each partner. Provision should be maintained establishing one partner that has the ability to make a decision for the rare case that consensus cannot be reached in order to ensure the continuation of the program. Accommodate partner budget cycles—Each partner must be aware of the policy generation and budget process of other partners. Understanding differences in these processes is critical to planning program milestones. 1 National Research Council, U.S.-European Collaboration in Space Science, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998, available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=5981. 2 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, International Space Station Lessons Learned as Applied to Exploration, International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla., July 22, 2009. for the list of case studies and the projects’ principal characteristics.) While the committee does not assert that the case studies are necessarily so broadly generalizable as to cover every likely collaboration, the cases do illustrate a relevant range of levels of collaboration, their histories, and their outcomes. Third, the committee drew on an analysis by the Aerospace Corporation of the impact of collaboration on mission cost, complexity, and schedule. The Aerospace Corporation analysis is presented in Chapter 2. In this report, “collaboration” is used as an overarching term that refers to more than one agency working together, and several other terms are reserved to describe the details of the collaborative arrangement: Use of resources. One agency uses a resource from another agency without the exchange of funds or the consumption/destruction of the resource. Procurement of services or products. One agency procures a service or product from another agency in a contract-like manner.
OCR for page 10
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions FIGURE 1.1 As the degree of interdependency increases between multiagency participants in a collaborative mission, so also do the mission complexity and performance risks. Coordination. Two agencies work together on a project in a way that makes them not dependent on each other for the project’s success. Cooperation. Two or more agencies work together on a project in a way that makes each agency dependent on the other for the project’s success. As Figure 1.1 indicates, the committee finds that these collaboration arrangements are also associated with increasing levels of complexity and risk. Use of Resources Example: Space Weather Data from the Advanced Composition Explorer The least complex and least risky arrangement is “use of resources,” illustrated here by NOAA’s use of space weather data acquired by the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft launched on August 25, 199715 (Figure 1.2). Among the instruments on ACE are particle detectors, spectrometers, and a magnetometer that provide near-real-time continuous measurements of solar wind parameters and solar energetic particle intensities, which are used to monitor and forecast Earth’s space weather environment. The committee views the ongoing arrangement for NOAA’s use of NASA’s ACE data as a prototypical example of the lowest level of complexity and risk whereby one agency uses a resource from another agency without the exchange of funds or the consumption/destruction of the resource. From its halo orbit around the Sun-Earth libration point, L1, ACE provides approximately 1-hour advance warning of geomagnetic storms, which can overload power grids, disrupt civilian and military space- and ground- 15 The ACE mission development was managed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Explorer Projects Office of the Flight Projects Directorate. The spacecraft was developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Instrument development was the responsibility of the California Institute of Technology under contract to NASA.
OCR for page 11
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions FIGURE 1.2 Use of resources: Space weather data collected by NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) mission are provided in real time to NOAA. SOURCE: Courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL. based communications, and result in disruptions to the ionosphere that affect the commerce and safety-related uses of the Global Positioning Satellite system. Timely and accurate geomagnetic storm warnings provide emergency managers, government officials, and space-weather-sensitive businesses with the information necessary to develop preparedness plans to mitigate property damage and operational impacts.16 Prior to launch, NOAA provided $680,000 to modify the ACE spacecraft and enable 24-hour continuous transmission of real-time data on the solar wind. (Specifically, the NOAA-funded changes allowed for the transmission of a subset of data from four ACE instruments during times when ACE is not transmitting its full telemetry.) ACE data and forecast products are relayed to a broad user community by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. 16 Though ACE is the nation’s sole real-time upstream solar wind monitor (located directly between Earth and the Sun) and thus is critical to operational solar activity forecasts, the spacecraft is 12 years old and well beyond its design lifetime of 2 years. Difficulties in ensuring the availability of real-time solar wind data beyond the mission lifetime of ACE are illustrative of a problem more frequently associated with the Earth observation programs of NASA and NOAA: failure to manage a timely transition from research to operations. Although recognition of this issue is long-standing, budget pressures and disputes about agency roles and responsibilities have worked against the development of timely solutions. See National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10477; Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research, Report of the Assessment Committee for the National Space Weather Program, FCM-R24-2006, June 2006, available at http://www.ofcm.gov/r24/fcm-r24.htm.
OCR for page 12
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions FIGURE 1.3 Procuring services or products: NOAA contracts with NASA to obtain polar and geostationary environmental satellites, such as GOES-14, which produced this 4-km-resolution color composite of the visible and the 4- and 11-micron channels. SOURCE: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, data from NOAA GOES. Procurement of Services or Products Example: Polar and Geostationary Environmental Satellites NOAA’s procurement from NASA of launch services and acquisition of instruments and spacecraft for the NOAA polar (Polar Operational Environmental Satellite, POES) and geostationary (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES) programs is an example of “procurement of services or products,” the next level in complexity and risk (satellite image example given in Figure 1.3). The committee views these arrangements as prototypical examples of the next-to-lowest level of complexity and risk whereby one agency procures a service or product from another agency in a contract-like manner. In 1960, the nation’s first weather satellite, TIROS 1, was built and launched by NASA. Since that time, the U.S. civilian environmental satellite program has consisted of a succession of experimental and research satellites followed by operational systems. NASA has overseen the development of experimental and research-oriented programs, while the Department of Commerce (DOC), through NOAA and its predecessor organizations, has overseen the routine operation of the operational environmental systems. The 1998 memorandums of understanding between NASA and NOAA for cooperation in the POES and GOES programs describe the multiagency process used to design and develop the operational POES and GOES systems, in which NOAA procures NASA spacecraft, instruments, and launch services to accomplish its operational objectives.17 Specifically, NOAA establishes requirements, provides all funding, and distributes the environmental 17 The 1998 memorandums of understanding for POES and GOES can be found at http://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy/interagency-agreements/partnerships-table/.
OCR for page 13
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions FIGURE 1.4 OSTM/Jason-2: An example of interagency coordination. SOURCE: NASA/JPL-California Institute of Technology. satellite data for the United States,18 while NASA manages the procurement, design, development, and launch of the spacecraft and its instruments. Coordination Example: Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 The committee defines “coordination” as a still higher level of involvement between agencies, but one whereby overall mission success can still be achieved by an individual partner agency. The Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) is a successful interagency and international collaboration to measure sea surface height by using a radar altimeter mounted on a low-Earth-orbiting satellite called Jason-2 (Figure 1.4). The collaborating organizations are NASA, NOAA, the French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).19 The NASA-NOAA relationship for OSTM was one of coordination because NOAA’s role in operations did not present a dependent relationship; that is, NASA could have continued post-launch operations to still achieve mission success if the partnership had failed. Launched by NASA on a Delta-II rocket on June 20, 2008, OSTM/Jason-2 is extending the continuous climate record of sea surface height measurements begun in 1992 by the joint NASA/CNES TOPEX/Poseidon mission and continued by the NASA/CNES Jason-1 mission launched in 2001. High-precision ocean altimetry measures the distance between a satellite and the ocean surface to within a few centimeters. Jason-2’s accurate observations of sea surface height variations track global variations in sea level and yield information about the speed and direction of ocean currents and heat stored in the ocean. Jason-2 data are also used operationally and are assimilated into 18 Responsibility for the ground systems resides with NOAA, though NASA may provide ground station components. 19 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the mission for NASA.
OCR for page 14
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions FIGURE 1.5 Artist’s conception of NPOESS satellite, which is an example of multiagency cooperation. SOURCE: NOAA. global ocean circulation, sea state, and coupled numerical models that are used to support a variety of applications, including marine meteorology, hurricane forecasting and tracking, fisheries management, and ship routing.20 CNES provided the spacecraft for OSTM, and NASA and CNES jointly provided the payload instruments. In October 2008, following completion of 4 months of post-launch tests and qualification of the entire satellite and the ground system by CNES and NASA, command and control operations for Jason-2 were handed over to NOAA and EUMETSAT.21 Although NOAA’s primary contribution to the collaborative mission occurs during the operational phase of the mission, the committee notes that the expectation that NOAA would assume post-launch operational responsibility for the mission was also beneficial to gaining support for the mission by NASA, the administration, and Congress during the early stages of mission development. This is an example of how unstated strategic objectives (e.g., increasing the number of stakeholders and supporters) can also serve to motivate collaboration. Cooperation Example: National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System The complex multiagency governance and acquisition arrangements for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS—Figure 1.5) are an example of “cooperation,” whereby two or more agencies work together on a project in a way that makes each agency dependent on the other for the project’s success. The committee considers this type of partnership, characterized by the NOAA-Department of Defense (DOD) governance of NPOESS, as having the highest level of complexity and risk of failure. 20 See, for example, links on EUMETSAT’s Web page for Jason-2/OSTM at http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Satellites/Jason-2/index.htm. 21 EUMETSAT receives data from Jason-2 using its ground station in Usingen, Germany, which is remotely accessed and commanded from NOAA’s Suitland, Maryland, operation center. Both NOAA and EUMETSAT generate near-real-time data products and distribute them to users; both agencies also maintain archives of scientific data products from the mission.
OCR for page 15
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions The model used for procurement of POES and GOES, described in the coordination example above, was not used in the 1994 merger (“convergence”) of separate civilian and military meteorological programs that created NPOESS.22 NPOESS was conceived as a single next-generation successor to the NOAA POES and U.S. Air Force DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) programs. As planning evolved, a number of other Earth-observing and space-environment sensors and capabilities were incorporated into the basic program, making NPOESS (as envisioned at that time) a key component for operational weather forecasting and for research on climate, oceans, and space weather. NPOESS is widely viewed as the most complex environmental satellite system ever attempted. As specified in a memorandum of agreement (MOA),23 the NPOESS program was to be managed by a tri-agency (NASA, NOAA, DOD) integrated program office (IPO). Within the IPO: NOAA had the lead responsibility for satellite and ground segment operations and for interfacing with national and international civil user communities. DOD had the lead responsibility for component acquisitions that were necessary to execute the acquisition program baseline. NASA had the lead responsibility for improving the remote sensing capabilities of the operational system through the insertion of new technologies. The MOA also specified that the DOC (NOAA) and the DOD (Air Force) were to share equally in the funding for NPOESS at the program level, with part of the Air Force share residing in the launch vehicle. These program and funding arrangements were unique within the federal government. Furthermore, there were significant differences in the risks and costs for each partner, because the Air Force share was not required until later in the program and NOAA assumed the early cost risks. This illustrates another level of complication that can become an impediment to collaboration. In 2000, the NPOESS program anticipated purchasing six satellites for $6.5 billion, with a first launch in 2008. By November 2005, it became apparent that NPOESS would overrun its cost estimates by at least 25 percent, triggering a Nunn-McCurdy termination review24 by the DOD. In June 2006, a certified NPOESS program emerged from review. The certified program reduced the planned acquisition of six spacecraft to four, delayed the launch of the first spacecraft until 2013,25 and refocused the program on core requirements related to the acquisition of data to support numerical weather prediction. As a result, several sensors were canceled or descoped in capability, and secondary sensors designed to provide crucial continuity to long-term climate records were not funded.26 The president’s fiscal year 2011 budget, which was released to the public on February 1, 2010, as this report was entering final preparation, terminated the NPOESS program and instead directed a return to the historical model that had the Air Force and NOAA managing separate acquisition programs for polar-orbiting satellites to serve military and civilian users.27 22 Presidential Decision Directive/NSTC-2, “Convergence of U.S.-Polar-Orbiting Operation Environmental Satellite Systems,” May 5, 1994, available at http://www.ipo.noaa.gov/About/NSTC-2.html. 23 See 1995 “MOA between NASA, DOC, and DOD for the NPOESS,” available at http://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy/interagency-agreements/partnerships-table/. 24 Language in the Nunn-McCurdy amendment to the Defense Authorization Act of 1982 calls for congressional notifications when programs exceed their original estimated costs by 15 percent and termination when growth is in excess of 25 percent. Provisions in the amendment allow for the continued funding of programs that have exceeded the 25 percent limit only if the secretary of defense deems the program as essential to national security and certifies that the management structure is adequate to control total program acquisition unit cost or procurement unit cost. See http://www.cdi.org/missile-defense/s815-conf-rpt.cfm. 25 In late 2009, the date for launch of C1 was March 2014. See http://fpd.gsfc.nasa.gov/launches.html. 26 National Research Council, Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2008, available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12254. 27 Office of Science and Technology Policy, “Restructuring the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System,” February 1, 2010, Washington, D.C., available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/rdbudgets/2011.