4
Concluding Remarks

The conclusions, reached by each group independently, were remarkably similar. More important, the conclusions indicate that future reductions in space mission costs might be achieved through fundamental changes in policy and decision processes. The major points of each section are summarized in Table 2-1. There was a consensus that agencies involved in space missions now have to concentrate on how their policies for requirements development, mission definition, and system acquisition affect mission costs. The impressive cost reductions in the past several years are largely a result of agencies focusing on engineering or adopting technology that was already in the research pipeline. Progress in the next several years must come from changes in how agencies make basic decisions and conduct operations. These changes have the potential for even greater cost savings, but most participants at this workshop appreciate the difficulties associated with agency-level changes.

Although advanced technology has enabled smaller, faster, cheaper programs in the recent past at both NASA and DOD, all of the working groups agreed that orders-of-magnitude cost savings do not result simply from better technologies. Cost reductions result from a combination of well defined policy, thoughtful rationales for requirements, well developed program planning, facilitation of using advanced technology, and appropriate procurement strategies.



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--> 4 Concluding Remarks The conclusions, reached by each group independently, were remarkably similar. More important, the conclusions indicate that future reductions in space mission costs might be achieved through fundamental changes in policy and decision processes. The major points of each section are summarized in Table 2-1. There was a consensus that agencies involved in space missions now have to concentrate on how their policies for requirements development, mission definition, and system acquisition affect mission costs. The impressive cost reductions in the past several years are largely a result of agencies focusing on engineering or adopting technology that was already in the research pipeline. Progress in the next several years must come from changes in how agencies make basic decisions and conduct operations. These changes have the potential for even greater cost savings, but most participants at this workshop appreciate the difficulties associated with agency-level changes. Although advanced technology has enabled smaller, faster, cheaper programs in the recent past at both NASA and DOD, all of the working groups agreed that orders-of-magnitude cost savings do not result simply from better technologies. Cost reductions result from a combination of well defined policy, thoughtful rationales for requirements, well developed program planning, facilitation of using advanced technology, and appropriate procurement strategies.