News of the WeekU.S. BUDGET

Obama Shakes Up Satellite Programs For Clearer Picture of Earth

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Science  05 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5966, pp. 629
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5966.629

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More money to study climate change is a central element in the president's 2011 budget, and much of that science will be done in orbit. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will spend $2 billion—a 58% increase over this year's budget—to launch satellites to take crucial climate measurements for a decade or more. That effort will involve a massive—and costly—restructuring of the troubled National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, which was intended to procure space hardware for both military and civilian purposes. The president's budget also promises a massive reinvigoration of earth sciences at NASA, much of it climate-related.