Failure to launch new generation of spy satellites

In a New York Times article published on 11/11/2007, Philip Taubman elaborates on the death of a spy satellite program, dubbed the Future Imagery Architecture, for which bids were solicited in 1998, even though an internal assessment raised questions whether it was achievable given the tight constraints on the project.

According to the New York Times, the collapse of the project resulted in a loss of at least $4 billion; cost estimates at the time the project was killed off in September 2005 ran as high as $18 billion.

Ed Nowinski, a former key player of the project, asserts that the most of the problems had been solved by the time project was shut down, so that with adequate time and money, the electro-optical satellite could have been built.


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