U.S. weather satellite program over budget


  • Sarah Zielinski


Because the next generation of U.S. weather satellites, the Geostationary Environmental Operational Satellite Series-R (GOES-R), would run several billion dollars over budget if constructed as originally planned, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will cancel development of at least one advanced sensor and is considering other options that would reduce costs, NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., testified at a 29 September hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science.

GOES-R would be the latest in a series of geostationary satellites that have been launched since the 1970s. NOAA currently operates two such satellites—one each over the U.S. east and west coasts—which provide images and oceanic, atmospheric, and climatic data over the continental United States and Hawaii. This information is used to forecast weather and provide warnings of severe weather.