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Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions (2011)

Chapter: Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
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C
Characteristics of NASA’s Recent Interagency Collaborations

Table C.1 shows a side-by-side comparison of some of the key attributes of selected recent interagency collaborative efforts that were reviewed by the committee. In addition to the type of collaboration and governance structure, the committee noted whether the collaboration was directed by Congress or the administration or whether it emerged in a more spontaneous fashion from the agencies and scientists themselves.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
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TABLE C.1 Selected Recent Interagency Collaborative Efforts

 

NPOESSa

OSTM/Jason-2

Fermi/GLAST

JDEM/Omega

Nation(s) Involved

United States

United States, France

United States

United States

Type of Collaboration

Cooperation

Coordination (NASA-NOAA)

Cooperation

Cooperation

 

Cost-sharing (NOAA, DOD)

 

 

 

 

CNES: bus, 2 instruments, launch and early orbit phase (LEOP), and checkout

 

NASA: telescope, main science instrument, spacecraft bus

 

Technology infusion (NASA)

 

 

 

 

DOE: fabrication of major science instrument, development of science operations center

 

 

NASA: 3 instruments, launch services

 

 

 

NOAA/EUMETSAT: ground segment

 

Agencies Involved

NOAA, DOD, NASA

NASA, NOAA, EUMETSAT, CNES

NASA, DOE

NASA, DOE

Governance Structure

Integrated Program Office (IPO) for NPOESS

Developed by NASA, CNES and operated by NOAA, EUMETSAT

NASA: project office, instruments

NASA: lead agency responsible for overall success of the mission

 

 

 

DOE: instruments

 

 

 

 

 

DOE: science and operations contribution

Project/Program

Program—multiple spacecraft

Single project

Single project

Single project

Directed/Organicb

Directed (executive order)

Organic

Organic

Directed

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×

GOES-R

Landsat 7

LDCM

C/NOFS

ACE

United States

United States

United States

United States

United States

Procurement of services

Coordination

Coordination

Coordination

Use of resources

 

NASA: development and launch of the spacecraft; development of the ground system

NASA: development and launch of the spacecraft; development of the ground system

 

NASA: spacecraft and instruments

NOAA: provides direct oversight for the GOES-R program, flight and ground segment

 

NOAA: small ($680,000) contribution to modify the ACE spacecraft and enable 24-hour continuous transmission of real-time data on the solar wind

 

USGS: operates the satellite and captures, processes, and distributes the data and is responsible for maintaining the data archive

USGS: operation of the satellite and responsible for a ground system to receive, ingest, archive, calibrate, process, validate, and distribute LDCM science data

 

NASA: procurement, management, and execution of the flight project in accordance with overall NOAA guidance

 

 

 

DOD: Air Force ground stations

NASA, NOAA

Development: NASA, NOAA, USGS

NASA, USGS

Joint USAF Space Test Program (STP) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); participation by NASA, NRL, universities, federally funded research and development centers

NASA, NOAA, DOD

 

Operations: NASA, USGS

 

 

Developed by NASA for NOAA on a cost-reimbursable basis

NASA: spacecraft, instrument, and ground system

NASA: development of spacecraft

STP: spacecraft, launch vehicle, launch and first year of on-orbit operations

Managed by NASA

 

 

USGS: development and operation of the ground system

 

 

NOAA: spacecraft and ground systems operations and functions

 

 

AFRL: payload, payload integration and test, model development, data center operations, and product generation and distribution

 

 

USGS: Landsat data distribution and archiving

 

 

 

 

 

NASA: CINDI instrument

 

Single project

Single project

Single project

Single project

Single project

Organic

Directed

Directed

Organic

Organic

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×

 

NPOESSa

OSTM/Jason-2

Fermi/GLAST

JDEM/Omega

Year Started

2006 (spacecraft development)

2002

September 2000 (SRR)

2010 (Phase A)

Launch (or Launch Readiness Date)

2014 (C-1)

June 2008

2006 (ICRR, 2001) June 2008 (actual)

2017

Number of Spacecraft

Originally 6, now 4 (not including NPP)

1

1

1

Number of Instruments

7 (C-1), 8 (FOC)

5

2

1

Initial Budget

 

$76 million (no LV, NASA only, March 2006) $76 million (no LV, NASA only, at launch)

$454 million FY 2006 (ICRR, 2001)

~$900 million (FY 2009)

Budgetary Outcome

Significant overrun; program descoped: $6.8 billion through C1, $8 billion through C2

Met launch date on budget

$508 million FY 2006 (at launch)

Not yet selected

Motivation for Collaboration at the Outset

Cost: “eliminate the financial redundancy of acquiring and operating polar-orbiting environmental satellite systems, while continuing to satisfy U.S. operational requirement for data from these systems”

Third in partnership; continue measurement record

Similar science goals: GLAST draws on the interest of both the high-energy particle physics and high-energy astrophysics communities and is the highest ranked initiative in its category in the NRC 2000 decadal survey reportd

Science goals are high priority to both organizations; leverage each agency’s expertise

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×

GOES-R

Landsat 7

LDCM

C/NOFS

ACE

September 2004 (instrument development) October 2005 (preliminary spacecraft design)

1993 (SRR)

2007

At least 2000

1991

April 2015 (GAO, 2009)c

1998 (1993) instrument power supply failures during thermal/vacuum testing; 1999 (actual)

2011 (ICR, 2008)

2012 (PDR, 2009)

2003 (2001)

1997

 

 

February 2006 (October 2005) solar panel (18-month delay) and EMI probes; rebuilt harness April 2008 (actual)

 

2

1

1

1

1

4

1

Originally 1, now 2

6

9

$6.6 billion

 

$652 million (ICR, 2008)

 

Total cost for Phase C/D through launch plus 30 days of checkout not to exceed $141.1 million (in real-year dollars)

$7.67 billion (GAO, 2009)c significant overrun; program descoped from 4 satellites/5 sensors to 2 satellites/4 sensors

$718 million (at launch, includes $212 million DOD, $6.5 million USGS)

Still in development, has overrun; USGS funding shortfalls have impacted ground system

Combined cost of satellite development and construction, the Pegasus rocket, and the 13 months of in-space operations total about $135 million (at launch); solar panel design issues slowed the program; instrument RF sensitivities created technical challenges

Final project cost $106.8 million, a $34.3 million under-run

NOAA: procurement of next-generation GOES spacecraft

Latest partnership to continue decades-long record of moderate-resolution measurements of the land surface (see text for details)

NSTC directed collaboration to maintain continuity of Landsat-type data for civil, commercial, and national security interests

NASA: science payload access to space as mission of opportunity

Merging of NASA research interests with NOAA and Air Force operational needs for real-time data on the upstream solar wind and forecast and warning of severe space weather events

NASA: Possible transition of GIFTS instrument to advanced sounder for GOES-R

 

DOD: means to expand scope of mission through hosting NASA-funded payload; support operational users of space weather information

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×

 

NPOESSa

OSTM/Jason-2

Fermi/GLAST

JDEM/Omega

Primary Sources for the Committee’s Analysise

See in the main text references cited in the section “NASA-NOAA Interagency Collaboration.”

See in the main text references cited in the section “Coordination Example: Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2.”

See in the main text references cited in the section “The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope Mission.”

See in the main text references cited in the section “The Joint Dark Energy Mission.

a As noted in the text, on February 1, 2010, it was announced that the NPOESS program would be restructured into two separate lines of polar-orbiting satellites to serve military and civilian users. Information in this table refers to the NPOESS program prior to the restructuring.

b “Organic” and “directed” are used here to distinguish between agency collaborations that arise mostly from the normal self-interests of the agencies and in which efforts are made to align the structure with normal agency practices and culture (partnerships arise from the bottom up) versus collaborations that arise from external demands, for example, to meet a political objective beyond the agency’s own self-interests or to meet a mission requirement that is externally imposed (partnerships arise from the top down).

c Government Accountability Office (GAO), “Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, GAO Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives, Statement of David A. Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues,” GAO-09-596T, April 23, 2009.

d National Research Council, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2010.

e For all missions and especially for NPOESS, Fermi/GLAST, and JDEM/Omega, the committee also drew on the substantive knowledge and first-hand experiences of its members.

f 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.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×

GOES-R

Landsat 7

LDCM

C/NOFS

ACE

NRC (2008)f

See in the main text references cited in the section “The Landsat Program.”

See in the main text references cited in the section “The Landsat Program.”

Interview with Roderick Heelis, principal investigator for CINDI

See in the main text references cited in the section “Use of Resources Example: Space Weather Data from the Advanced Composition Explorer.”

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 50
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 51
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 52
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 53
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Characteristics of NASA's Recent Interagency Collaborations." National Research Council. 2011. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13042.
×
Page 55
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Through an examination of case studies, agency briefings, and existing reports, and drawing on personal knowledge and direct experience, the Committee on Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Cooperation on Space and Earth Science Missions found that candidate projects for multiagency collaboration in the development and implementation of Earth-observing or space science missions are often intrinsically complex and, therefore costly, and that a multiagency approach to developing these missions typically results in additional complexity and cost. Advocates of collaboration have sometimes underestimated the difficulties and associated costs and risks of dividing responsibility and accountability between two or more partners; they also discount the possibility that collaboration will increase the risk in meeting performance objectives.

This committee's principal recommendation is that agencies should conduct Earth and space science projects independently unless:

  • It is judged that cooperation will result in significant added scientific value to the project over what could be achieved by a single agency alone; or
  • Unique capabilities reside within one agency that are necessary for the mission success of a project managed by another agency; or
  • The project is intended to transfer from research to operations necessitating a change in responsibility from one agency to another during the project; or
  • There are other compelling reasons to pursue collaboration, for example, a desire to build capacity at one of the cooperating agencies.

Even when the total project cost may increase, parties may still find collaboration attractive if their share of a mission is more affordable than funding it alone. In these cases, alternatives to interdependent reliance on another government agency should be considered. For example, agencies may find that buying services from another agency or pursuing interagency coordination of spaceflight data collection is preferable to fully interdependent cooperation.

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