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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Deadline Looms for Earth-Sensing Satellites Report
4 January 2010 5:30 pm
As part of a 2010 spending bill passed in December, lawmakers set today as the deadline for the three federal agencies which manage the $15 billion National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) to file a report to Congress laying out "an immediate and out-of-the-box solution" to the troubled program, which has suffered extensive delays, technical problems, and a skyrocketing budget. Two separate reports in June suggested the program faced "almost certain failure," as Space News put it. By 4:45pm today, neither NOAA nor the White House would say whether they were going to file the report on time. (NOAA, the Pentagon, and NASA jointly manage NPOESS.)
As part of the effort to fix NPOESS, which would involve three school bus sized satellites with dozens of environmental sensors apiece, Congress included language that removed a long-standing arrangement in which the Pentagon and NOAA both had to contribute the same amount of money to the program each year. (NASA provides technical expertise but not money.) "By removing this barrier, the agencies should have more flexibility," said a congressional aide. More tomorrow on what this might mean for the future of the program.
(See here for some useful reporting on the internal politics over NPOESS for the 2011 budget, where the Obama Administration will have its first chance to radically reshape the program's future.)