U.S. scales back plan for weather satellite program


  • Sarah Zielinski


A major civilian and military U.S. weather satellite program will be scaled back, resulting in the loss of several satellites and sensors for climate and space weather data, under a new plan for the program, the U.S. Air Force said in a 5 June letter to the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) conducted a mandatory review of the program after the National Polar-orbiting Observational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) exceeded its estimated budget by more than 25 percent. The cost of the proposed set of six satellites had ballooned from $6.8 billion in March 2005 to $13.8 billion in May 2006 (Eos 87(21), 2006).