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SCI/TECH: Next Generation of US Weather Satellites Delayed

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posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 09:24 PM
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Behind schedule and over budget, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) may cause problems in the accuracy of weather monitoring. The last of the current generation of weather satellites will launch in 2007, but the first NPOESS satellite replacements will not be ready to launch for at least 4 additional years. Some of the delays are due to problems developing the next generation of advanced sensors for the NPOESS satellites. Officials responsible for the project are meeting next week to discuss ways to accelerate the program.
 



www.newscientistspace.com
The next generation of US weather satellites is woefully behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

This could potentially lead to a four-year gap in polar-orbiting satellite coverage for the US. If existing satellites break down during this period, the US may have to rely on European satellites to supplement its weather forecasting ability.

The US government plans to launch a new network of weather monitoring satellites, known as the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), to replace its current set. The new system will monitor the Earth's atmosphere with improved accuracy by measuring cloud cover, atmospheric conditions, sea surface temperatures, air moisture and other factors. The programme is jointly managed by the Department of Defense, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and NASA.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


In my opinion, weather forecasting is not an area where we should allow any preventable gap in our capabilities. Considering the weather we've been having this year (27+ named tropical storms), the weather, and it's accurate forecasting, should be a top priority. When a single hurricane (Katrina) causes over $200 billion in damage, accurate forecasting may indeed be able to pay for itself, by giving adequate warning of impending disaster.

[edit on 20-11-2005 by BomSquad]

[edit on 20-11-2005 by BomSquad]

[edit on 20-11-2005 by BomSquad]




posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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Good story. I agree that it would be a huge blunder to let weather satellites go unattended. Think of how many would have died this year if it weren't for satellite imagery.

[edit on 2005/11/20 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 09:52 PM
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Here's another article I discovered on this subject...

New Satellite Program Faces Major Delays



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