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July 26, 2011


Another slice of the NASA pie

by brainoids

Last week I sliced the NASA procurement history up based on its deployment through its ten field Centers.  Today, a slightly different take – tracking the end recipients.    Well, to a point … NASA’s official procurement data only tracks the “prime contractor” recipients of awards (whether technical primes or support service contractors).   In the actual aerospace industry, of course, the money then gets distributed through layers of subtier suppliers (subcontractors).   That said – even tracking the primes over time is interesting.

The visualization below shows the trends for selected major contractors from 1997-2010.   To construct the graphic, the following simplification were made:

  • All data are converted to FY10 dollars; all inset numbers are in $M per year
  • Previous 3-year smoothing is applied (e.g., the year 2000 data point is the average of the 1998, 1999 and 2000 point data)
  • I have tracked industry mergers to the best of my ability and report only the “latest standing” prime contractor … an incomplete list follows the post
  • I’ve excluded a number of primarily construction contractors, as well as many smaller contractors that were active in the late 90’s / early 00’s, but are not active today.
Without further ado, time for the sparklines:
A caution on interpretation, since this only includes procurement data through FY 2010, the impacts of the cancellation of the Constellation program will not yet be evident (given the FY11 CR, it will likely not be until the end of FY12 before those impacts show up).
Below is the list of industry consolidations or sub-companies used in the composites above.   Please let me know if I’ve missed any mergers since 1997!
  • ATK = ATK Corp + ATK Launch Systems + ATK Space Systems + Thiokol Corp
  • Boeing = Boeing Aerospace & Tech Corp + Boeing Commercial Airplane Group + Boeing Company + Boeing LTS + Boeing Satellite Systems + Boeing Space Operations + Hughes Aircraft Co + Hughes Information Tech Corp + McDonnell Douglas
  • Hamilton Sundstrand = Hamilton Standard + Hamilton Sundstrand
  • Honeywell = Honeywell International + Honeywell Technology + AlliedSignal Inc + AlliedSignal Technical Services
  • ITT = ITT Corp + ITT Industries + ITT Space Systems
  • Lockheed Martin = Lockheed Advanced Development + Lockheed Martin + Lockheed Martin Aerospace Corp + Lockheed Marting Engineering & Science + Lockheed Martin Government Services + Lockheed Martin Logistics and Management + Lockheed Martin Services + Lockheed Martin Space Operations + Lockheed Martin Space Systems + Lockheed Missiles & Space + OAO
  • Northrop Grumman = Grumman Aerospace + NG Computing Systems + NG Corp + NG Info Tech + NG Space & Mission Systems + NG Space Technology + NG Systems Corp + NG Technical Services + TRW
  • Orbital Sciences = Orbital Sciences Corp + Fairchild Space & Defense Corp
  • Raytheon = Raytheon Aerospace + Raytheon Company + Raytheon Information Systems + Raytheon Service + Raytheon STX + Raytheon Systems + Raytheon Technical Services
  • RSA + Energiya (pseudo-entry) = Russian Space Agency + SP Korolev Rocket & Space Public Corp
  • Spacehab = Spacehab Government Services + Spacehab Inc
  • United Technologies = Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne + Boeing North American + United Technologies Corp + USBI Booster Production
  • Jacobs = Jacobs Technology + Sverdrup Technology + Tybrin Corp
  • L-3 = L-3 Communications Integrated Systems + L-3 Communications Titan Corp + L-3 Services + Titan Corp + Titan Systems Corp
  • Mantech SRS = Mantech SRS Technologies + Mantech Systems Engineering + SRS Information Services + SRS Technologies
  • SAIC = SAIC + SAIC Info Services Sector + Benham Companies LLC
  • Teledyne = Teledyne Brown Engineering + Teledyne Industries + Rockwell Scientific
The visualization was constructed manually (and a little painfully) using OmniGraffle and Apple Numbers.   On the hobbyshop to-do list going forward is to use this as a good test case to help learn Processing, so I can delta with each year’s new numbers and quickly regenerate the graphic…
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Martin Burkey
    Jun 6 2012

    Didn’t Boeing own PWR until recently? With all the consolidations, isn’t it hard to see why these particular companies are doing better/worse without additional granularity?

    • Jun 6 2012

      You’re right, consolidations are a complicating factor … It’s been a while since I did the analysis but when I did I tracked all the major consolidations / sell offs, and had a rule in place for how to handle in the trend data, but honestly have forgotten what it was.

      Regardless, a divestiture is a divestiture. If a company sells off a business unit, it’s choosing to eat a smaller share of the pie. To your point, this doesn’t help with “why”, but the data were originally just to show “who and how much”. “Why” is an equally important but tougher question!


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