CNN Reports on Aging Earth Observation Satellites

In a brief report entitled "U.S. could lose aging eyes in the sky," CNN listed the challenges with aging earth observation satellite system this way:

  • Tights budgets, growing costs and failed launches hurt satellite programs, report finds
  • "We'll be hobbling through the year 2012," Idaho scientist says
  • Nearly three-quarters of 23 Earth-observation satellites could go dark by 2020
  • NASA calls the report from National Research Council (NRC) "overly pessimistic"

The NRC report goes on to say that, "These precipitous decreases [in satellite fleet] warn of a coming crisis in Earth observations from space, in which our ability to observe and understand the Earth system will decline just as Earth observations are critically needed to underpin important decisions facing our nation and the world," according to a May report from the Academy's National Research Council. "Advances in weather forecast accuracy may slow or even reverse, and gaps in time series of climate and other critical Earth observations are almost certain to occur."


Published Monday, May 21st, 2012

Written by Joe Francica