Landsat data conversion cut from budget



The conversion of a set of early Landsat data from wide band videotape to digitized, computer-compatible form is slated to end prematurely when this fiscal year ends on September 30, 1986. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is shutting down the project to save money because of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act (Eos, January 28, 1986, p. 41) and in view of the strain on NASA's budget caused by the loss of the space shuttle Challenger, according to Joseph Bishop, program manager for data processing in NASA's Office of Space Tracking and Data Systems. Moreover, the only equipment that can be used to read the wide band videotape data and convert it to computer-compatible tape (CCT) has become obsolete, and the tapes themselves are deteriorating, so it seems unlikely that this project could be renewed in the future, according to Allen H. Watkins, chief of the Earth Resources Observation System (EROS) Data Center of the U.S. Geological Survey in Sioux Falls, S. Dak.