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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 21, 2019

Reconstructing the Cost of the One Giant Leap: How Much Did Apollo Cost?

(The Planetary Society) Buried within one of the half-dozen boxes of Apollo budget documentation at NASA’s historical reference collection in Washington, D.C. is a piece of paper outlining a “loose agenda”—sadly undated—for an “Apollo Cost Consensus Meeting.” Among the goals stated on the agenda are for “the cost estimating community to reach consensus on Apollo costs.” Though the convener is anonymous, you can feel their resignation in the written notes summarizing the meeting: “[it] had the predictable results…no one was fully prepared to discuss the problem…data extremely sketchy…discrepancies typically 15% – 20%.” Read More

How federal agencies can use agile development to apply open data

(fedscoop) Over the past three years, a small, dedicated team of federal innovators has been steadily transforming the way government agencies apply open government data. The Opportunity Project (TOP), housed in the Census Bureau at the U.S. Department of Commerce, has adopted agile development principles to help government, communities, and the technology industry build high-impact, data-driven digital tools and platforms. Read More

The Risk Management Framework Is Dead. Long Live the RMF.

(Nextgov) The need for effective cybersecurity in the federal government is more important now than ever before. Dr. Ron Ross, fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said it best earlier this year at the RSA Federal Summit: “We literally are hemorrhaging critical information about key programs.” Frameworks such as the NIST Risk Management Framework, or RMF, help ensure organizations are able to address rampant cybersecurity threats by providing “a disciplined, structured, and flexible process for managing security and privacy risk.” But a framework is just that: a frame of reference from which to adapt according to your needs and situation. Read More

What’s driving defense consolidation? Missile money

(Quartz) A spate of military-industrial consolidation in the US is being driven in part by a resurgence of spending on rocket weapons. This week, United Technologies and Raytheon announced a merger that would create a huge new space and defense conglomerate. Not everybody thinks the idea makes sense, including activist investor Bill Ackman. But there is logic at work here. Read More

DOD unveils plans for contractor cybersecurity standards

(fedscoop) A Department of Defense official unveiled plans Thursday for contractor cybersecurity standards that are scheduled to be implemented by January 2020. Katie Arrington, special assistant to the assistant secretary of Defense acquisition for cyber, made the announcement along with a plea for the private sector to work with the government to secure its supply chain at a Professional Services Council conference Thursday. Read More

Defense bill calls for DOD to fast-track certain software buys

(FCW) A provision in the defense bill moving through the House of Representatives calls for the Pentagon to authorize a new fast track for software acquisition, with an eye to upgrading vulnerable weapons systems. Read More

NASA awards $1.8B contract for near-earth mission technical assistance

(fedscoop) NASA awarded a maximum value $1.8 billion contract for technical assistance in near-earth missions to Peraton, a Virginia-based company, the agency said Tuesday. The contract is known as the Space Exploration Network Services and Evolution (SENSE) contract and will include “telemetry, tracking and command services,” according to NASA. Peraton will work with the space exploration agency over the next five years starting in July on a cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity basis. Peraton will work both on space and ground systems, helping the two maintain network links. Read More

Northrop to build 3D-printed scramjet engine for Raytheon hypersonic weapon

(DefenseNews) LE BOURGET, France — Raytheon has partnered with Northrop Grumman on its air-breathing hypersonic weapon, which will be powered by a Northrop-made scramjet made entirely of 3D-printed parts, the company announced Tuesday. Raytheon and Northrop’s weapon is one of the competitors in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s HAWC project, short for Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept. Read More

Navy Expects Additional Orders for Boeing P-8A Aircraft

(ExecutiveGov) The U.S. Navy anticipates additional orders for a Boeing-built maritime patrol aircraft designed to carry anti-submarine and surface warfare missions, Reuters reported Sunday. Boeing received 117 orders for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft and is expecting to land 21 more from the service branch. Read More