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NASA Earth Space Science

U.S. In Danger of Losing Earth-Observing Satellite Capability 258

New submitter crazyjj writes "As reported in Wired, a recent National Research Council report indicates a growing concern for NASA, the NOAA, and USGS. While there are currently 22 Earth-observing satellites in orbit, this number is expected to drop to as low as six by the year 2020. The U.S. relies on this network of satellites for weather forecasting, climate change data, and important geologic and oceanographic information. As with most things space and NASA these days, the root cause is funding cuts. The program to maintain this network was funded at $2 billion as recently as 2002, but has since been scaled back to a current funding level of $1.3 billion, with only two replacement satellites having definite launch dates."
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U.S. In Danger of Losing Earth-Observing Satellite Capability

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  • Re:Correction.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @02:03PM (#39917647) Journal

    You must've missed the article the other day where the Secretary of Defense called Climate Change a threat to national security. []

  • Re:Correction.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @02:38PM (#39918015)

    civilian instruments in space are dwindling

    Are you sure [] about [] that? []

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @02:46PM (#39918105) Homepage

    You're not really right about the independents in Congress: Joe Lieberman is probably the ultimate spoiled child. He lost in the Connecticut Democratic primary back in 2006, went whining to the national Democratic leadership, and convinced them to back him rather than the guy who was ostensibly their party's candidate.

    The other independent is Bernie Sanders. Like him or not, he definitely sticks to his socialist positions. He's willing to make deals with strange bedfellows though - for instance, he worked with Ron Paul on the Fed audit that uncovered trillions of dollars going to major banks.

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @03:23PM (#39918507) Journal

    Bullshit. The Dems wasted a lot of time trying to reach out to the Republicans by supporting their ideas. The individual mandate, end of life counseling (now called death panels), cap and trade, the DREAM act... all of those were Republican ideas that they turned violently against as soon as the Democrats supported them.

    The whole reason NASA is even being cut is because the GOP took the country hostage last summer over the debt ceiling. Nevermind that most of the debt comes from the wars they supported and the tax cuts they demanded.

    Sorry, but the $2-3 trillion in war funding over 10 years doesn't make a dent in the $1.5 Trillion added to the deficit every year.

    Try again. Your boogie man is a lie.

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @03:55PM (#39918949) Journal

    Maybe not, but $2 Trillion in war spending, plus $2 Trillion in unfunded Bush tax cuts (Funny the republicans didn't think it necessary to pay for the extension of their tax cuts) does make a sizable dent in our national deficit. Here's an interesting article on exactly this topic. Go look at historic trends of deficit spending and it's surprising that republicans are responsible for some of the largest rises in debt. []

    Deficits []:
    FY 2007: $161 billion (R Congress R Whitehouse)
    FY 2011: $1,300 billion (D Congress D Whitehouse)

    It should also be noted that the US took in MORE money after the Bush tax cuts than before. This is because the economy boomed and the unemployment rate was under 5% much of the time. You actually get a bigger piece when you take a smaller piece from a large pie than when you take a larger piece from a smaller one.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @03:58PM (#39918975)

    The really hilarious thing isn't that you cherry-picked data. It's that you linked back to the un-cherry-picked table:

    Obama Deficits
    FY 2013*: $901 billion
    FY 2012*: $1,327 billion
    FY 2011: $1,300 billion
    FY 2010: $1,293 billion

    Bush Deficits
    FY 2009: $1,413 billion
    FY 2008: $459 billion
    FY 2007: $161 billion

    Now, I won't ding Bush too badly for the bailout-derived deficit... but of course I'd have to give Obama the same latitude there. Now compare him to Clinton:
    Year GDP-US $ billion Federal Deficit-fed $ billion
    1990 5800.5 221.03 a
    1991 5992.1 269.24 a
    1992 6342.3 290.32 a
    1993 6667.4 255.05 a
    1994 7085.2 203.18 a
    1995 7414.7 163.95 a
    1996 7838.5 107.43 a
    1997 8332.4 21.89 a
    1998 8793.5 -69.27 a
    1999 9353.5 -125.61 a
    2000 9951.5 -236.24 a
    2001 10286.2 -128.23 a
    2002 10642.3 157.75 a
    2003 11142.2 377.59 a
    2004 11853.3 412.73 a
    2005 12623 318.35 a
    2006 13377.2 248.18 a
    2007 14028.7 160.71 a
    2008 14369.1 458.55 a
    2009 13939 1412.69 a
    2010 14526.5 1293.49 a
    2011 15094 1299.59 a
    2012 15601.5 1326.95 b

      a - actual reported
      b - budgeted estimate in US fy13 budget

    Clinton gets the blame for 1993-2001. His maximum deficit was 255 billion, his first year. His best year was 2000 with a 236 billion surplus. Now look at those Bush years again...

    Now to be totally fair, Clinton did benefit from a tax and cost cutting package that cost Bush I his 2nd term. He also had a nice dot-com bubble at the end there.

    Of course, Bush inherited an actual surplus and benefited from a much larger housing bubble.

    So yeah, Bush cannot claim to be a fiscal conservative. Republicans have zero claim to that title right now.

Trap full -- please empty.