Earth observations from space: A dream deferred?



Earth observations from space are one of the great successes of the space age. However, because the promise of this technology is a long way from being realized, the joy of success is tinged with disappointment for both researchers and operational users of the data. U.S. Earth observation programs have been in turmoil since their inception, with confusion coming to a crescendo over the past 6 years. Neither the executive or legislative branches of the government have shown that they can successfully manage this technological capability created by the space program.