Weather Satellites Need Full, Stable Flow of Funding

Weather satellites are an essential component of US weather monitoring and forecasting, so it is therefore critical that full funding is provided for the next-generation polar-orbiting and geostationary systems in development to minimize gaps in coverage, states a newly issued Space Foundation white paper. “Program offices should provide accurate and stable lifecycle cost estimates for weather satellite programs, and Congress should respond with full and stable funding for these programs,” states the white paper. Mariel Borowitz, a Space Foundation research analyst, authored the work, which the organization released on July 23. The paper also urges the United States to seek increased cooperation with international partners on weather satellite programs as a means of reducing costs and increasing capabilities. It also recommends that the United States consider working with commercial weather satellite data providers to augment capabilities. (White paper text; caution, large-sized file.) (See also Risk Reduction for Future Weather Satellite.)