The American military space program is in a state of near-total disarray, says a report from the Defense Science Board, released yesterday. The troubles run so deep, they're beginning to rival the mess at NASA, its counterpart in civilian space.Among the "systemic problems" the group found: "widespread lack of budget reserves required to implement high risk programs on schedule; and an overall underappreciation of the importance of appropriately staffed and trained system engineering staffs to manage the technologically demanding and unique aspects of space programs.""Cost has replaced mission success" as the "primary means" for evaluating new military space equipment, the report notes. And "low cost estimates throughout the acquisition process" have "lead to unrealistic budgets and unexecutable programs."The U.S. military has become increasingly reliant on space to wage war. Global Positioning System-based "smart bombs," "eye-in-the-sky" surveillance, and satellite phones are just a few examples of how American troops lean on space technology to talk, track friend and foe, and fight.(via Secrecy News)
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