Is it common in the US budget stuff that SpaceX gets this launch contract while at the same time the FY2021 NASA budget request asks for termination of PACE?
Cost and Schedule StatusThe PACE project entered the implementation phase andformally established its cost and schedule baselines inAugust 2019. The project set a baseline lifecycle costof $889.7 million and a launch date of January 2024,which is $39.7 million above the top-end of the project’spreliminary cost estimate of $850 million and 9 monthslater than its preliminary schedule estimate of April 2023.The project continues to be cost-capped but NASA added$33.8 million to the project’s baseline to account for a2.5-month delay from the fiscal year 2019 governmentshutdown and interest payments on outstanding contractorinvoices. For example, NASA reported that the shutdowndelayed contractor deliverables because the projectcould not provide direction or funding on project activities.NASA calculated the project’s joint cost and scheduleconfidence level—the likelihood a project will meet its costand schedule estimates—as greater than 70 percent, asgenerally required by NASA policy.Similar to the previous 2 years, NASA did not requestfunding for PACE in its fiscal year 2020 budget request,but the explanatory statement accompanying the 2020Consolidated Appropriations Act stated that the agreementincluded $131 million for PACE. A separate committeereport related to the Act directed NASA to include adequatefunding for PACE in the 2021 budget request, but NASAdid not request funding for PACE in its fiscal year 2021budget request. Project officials said budget uncertaintyhas made it more challenging to find vendors willing to workwith the project, which has resulted in the project receivingonly one offer in response to about half of its competitivesolicitations. Despite funding uncertainty, the project isholding cost and
The report above is saying that launch has been delayed to January 2024.
NASA LAUNCH SERVICES II - SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES. This modification removes Mission Unique Service (MUS) 6.0 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Ring from the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission under Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) 7, Section B, Table B-8.7 Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Launch Service Task Order for PACE Mission, for a full credit in the amount of $533,483. Also, update the Launch Service Payments, Milestones, and Completion Criteria in Table C-1.7, CLIN 7, PACE Launch Service Payment Schedule, as a result of the removal of MUS 6.0. The IMAP, CLIN 9, Section C, Table C-1.9 IMAP Launch Service Payment Schedule has been updated to correct a 3 dollar discrepancy in the Individual dollar amounts column.
PACE's Ocean Color Instrument (OCI) passed its pre-environmental review in April, taking the mission one step closer to its January 2024 launchOCI, PACE's primary sensor, is a highly advanced optical spectrometer that will be used to measure the properties of light over portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It will enable continuous measurement of light in finer spectral steps spanning the ultraviolet to near-infrared than previous NASA ocean color satellite sensors, extending key system ocean color data records for climate studies.
OCI Instrument Passes Key Review [dated May 23]QuotePACE's Ocean Color Instrument (OCI) passed its pre-environmental review in April, taking the mission one step closer to its January 2024 launchOCI, PACE's primary sensor, is a highly advanced optical spectrometer that will be used to measure the properties of light over portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It will enable continuous measurement of light in finer spectral steps spanning the ultraviolet to near-infrared than previous NASA ocean color satellite sensors, extending key system ocean color data records for climate studies.
<snip>I designed and prototyped just such an “Ocean Color Instrument” in the late 1990’s, although it may not have gone down into the UV. It was a small part of an instrument suite that was not selected for deployment. It’s hard to imagine it as a stand-alone mission that costs nearly $1B.
The PACE Team is working closely with SpaceX and NASA Launch Services Program team at Kennedy Space Center in Florida to coordinate preparations for the PACE launch scheduled for 9 January 2024. PACE’s ride to Florida, both the transporter and shipping container, completed road testing and certification. Come November, PACE will exit through the Goddard gates and head south for its date with a Falcon 9!