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The U.S. Department of Commerce rescinded plans to shut Landsats 4 and 5 off on March 31. The satellites will continue to operate under a pledge of funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other federal agencies that was organized through the office of Vice President Dan Quayle and the National Space Council, which he heads.

The amount of money involved in the stopgap funding has not been specified by the Bush administration, nor is it known what will happen to the satellites after April 17. There is no money in the Fiscal Year 1989 budget to keep Landsats 4 and 5 going; a source of funding through the end of the fiscal year in September remains to be determined.