In a recent audit on Wednesday, NASA mentions that costs imposed due to Covid 19 reach $3 billion. The cost is used for various science and exploration programs. A report by NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) throws light on the expenses. $1.6 billion of the total comes from 30 major programs and projects which are defined by NASA.
The OIG report states, ‘’Although NASA managers include schedule margin in the program and project plans to address unforeseen circumstances, in many instances the margins were not sufficient to absorb the impact of the pandemic, until after the COVID-19 emergency has subsided.”
- The mission has a lifecycle cost of $3.9 billion.
- Huge cost increases due to Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (popularly known as Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)).
- Estimates near $400 million in additional impacts in future years.
- Significant impact on subcontractors who work on the Roman Space Telescope which results in the following:
- Fewer bids on proposed work
- Longer delivery times
- Delays to complete assemblies
- Impact on contractors and schedule affect for higher assembly and tests
- The pandemic’s peak in March 2020 could not make it worse for Roman
Paul Hertz (Director of NASA’s astrophysics division) said, “COVID has had a measurable impact on the Roman Space Telescope, and it hit at exactly the worst possible time for a mission.”
The recovery measure that NASA uses to recover the costs is not certain. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the agency to receive USD 60 million to cover the following:
- Enhanced information technology infrastructure
- Personal protective equipment
The OIG reports add, “Due to the continued uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA will likely continue to experience impacts to its major programs and projects.”