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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Budget Impasse Delays Key Environment Satellite
10 February 2011 11:34 am
As Congress dithered last year on the 2011 federal budget—agencies are still bound by last year's budgets under an agreement called a continuing resolution—earth science done via satellite took a step backward. The top manager for the Joint Polar Satellite System told Spaceflight Now this week that the delays have pushed the launch of the key weather and climate satellite's launch back 2 years. JPSS-1 was supposed to fly in 2014:
The continuing resolution has so far cut this year's expected JPSS budget in half. The launch of NOAA's first next-generation weather satellite has already slipped nearly 24 months in the past year.
"That's pushed us well into 2016," Burch said in an interview with Spaceflight Now. "It remains to be seen what happens in March. If, in March, we can get back to full funding, we'll be looking at ways to pull that launch date back, and hopefully we'll be able to launch in 2015."
Burch has ordered the program to focus initial work on the JPSS ground system, which needs to be up and running before the launch of the stopgap NPOESS Preparatory Project weather satellite in October. But the near-term priority comes at the expense of work on follow-on JPSS missions.
"Unfortunately, our funding level at the moment has our instrument development contracts running at less than 50 percent of where they need to be to support a launch in early 2015," Burch said.
That satellite is the template for the first JPSS satellite, which will be a clone of NPP. Scientists had hoped to have additional sensors on JPSS, but officials chose to put the same hardware up to save time, money, and reduce the risk of adding new equipment.