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With more missions to Mars and the moon planned, researchers are forgetting the importance of the needs of people on Earth

A recent report done by the National Research Council has found that the U.S. satellite system that monitor's the environment and climate needs on Earth must undergo vast upgrades or scientists may lose ability to accurately forecast hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and winter storms. The report also called for NASA to launch 17 new satellites to launch by 2020. NASA and NOAA now have 25 satellites in orbit that specifically only conduct environmental measurements and observations – however, many of them are working past their initial expected service time.

“This is the most critical time in human history, with the population never before so big and with stresses growing on the Earth,” said Richard Anthes, co-chair on the committee which wrote the report.

The National Research Council of the National Academies also warned that by 2010, the number of instruments on satellites for Earth-observing purposes will be cut by around 40 percent.

The NOAA yearly budget of $1 billion per year for environmental satellites must continue to remain available to the organization. Spending $3 billion per year on new equipment and satellite missions through the year 2020 would sufficiently get Earth-observation back on the level it needs to be, according to space officials.



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This is a cry for more money
By timmiser on 1/18/2007 2:57:26 AM , Rating: 3
I think $1 billion a year should do for them. It bugs me when they try to use their scare tactics to get a budget increase which is what this is really about. Like any other government agency, they need to quit crying for more money and find ways to make due with a billion a year. Us taxpayers have to find ways to make the most of our income, these guys need to suck it up and do the same.




RE: This is a cry for more money
By Loser on 1/18/2007 7:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
oh you think? did u use your calculator or the number just popped up in your head?


RE: This is a cry for more money
By Spivonious on 1/18/2007 10:10:26 AM , Rating: 1
Read the article, Loser. It says their current budget is $1B. I agree with the OP: that should be more than enough money to build a few satellites.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By NuroMancer on 1/18/2007 10:23:32 AM , Rating: 2
Do you even know what the costs of maintaining a satilite in orbit are? Maintaining uplink and downlink systems etc? I'm not sure myself, but I can guess its more then a few dollars.

The reason there is equipment that is up there past its service life is that they only have a budget of $1B.

On a side note, perhaps instead of personally attacking the author of the post, you could refute what he says.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By timmiser on 1/18/2007 1:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, he wasn't personally attacking him. "LOSER" is his username!!


By masher2 (blog) on 1/18/2007 10:24:52 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think either of you read the article. The NOAA's budget is $1B, yes...they're not asking for that to be raised, they're asked for it to be maintained.

And yes, that's enough to "build a few satellites". But its not enough to launch them as well. Which is why they're asking for an increase in NASA's satellite budget from $1.5B/yr. to $2B/yr.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By stromgald on 1/18/2007 11:46:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
$1B. I agree with the OP: that should be more than enough money to build a few satellites.


Do you realize that it costs about $250 million to build and launch a small geostationary satellite (most NASA satellites are in this category)? And the cost certainly isn't falling, its rising. That's also not even taking into account the amount of money to maintain the dozens of satellites already in orbit. At $1B, I would estimate 2-3 launches for NASA and maybe 1-2 next year.

Also, it's always silly how these articles always post the amount of money involved. $1B seems like alot to any individual, but a satellite takes thousands of people to design, inspect, launch and maintain. How do you expect to pay so many highly trained and educated people on $1B? $1B is only 0.05% of the 2005 US Budget (probably less for 2006). In the 2005 budget, the U.S. spent $30B on the environment, $250B on the Department of Health, and $300B on Medicare. All those are important things, but an extra $1B for the government is like $50 for the common person. It's substantial amount, but not anything most people would loose alot of sleep over.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 4:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree generally (I think along the same lines for NASA's budget in general when people whine about it), but..

You say costs are rising.. They shouldn't be. All other high-tech items have seen meteoric drops in price over time for a given service. If their costs are rising they need to do what ever needs to be done, like bringing in someone from private industry, to squeeze out inefficiency, since component costs shouldn't be rising. If its launch costs, the private market is starting to step up to the plate with alternatives from the usual launch suspects, offering lower costs.

My knee-jerk reaction would to be to wave the privatization flag, but unfortunately, there's very little profit to be made collecting this sort of data. It's still somewhat important data to be collected, so it falls in the governments realm. That's not an excuse on their part, though, to stand back and eat escalating costs. We pay taxes to get this data, not for some fat-cat no-bid contractor to land an easy job.

Not that I even know if they're facing significantly higher costs, you said it, I'm just responding to that.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/18/2007 5:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
Satelites are not something that can be mass produced by low wage workers in a third world country.
Moreover, each satelite put up isn't just a direct replacement for one that has worn out, so there is no way to spread out the R&D costs.

Your attitude may be fine for telephones and washing machines, but it won't work here.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By jayzrobert on 1/18/2007 7:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
before you continue on bashing third world countries. I'd like you to know that 80% of sattelite parts are made from either taiwan, philippines, malaysia.

Also a large number of scientists working on R&D and building those satellites are from asian countries.



RE: This is a cry for more money
By stromgald on 1/18/2007 7:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd like you to know that 80% of sattelite parts are made from either taiwan, philippines, malaysia.


You pulled that 80% number out of your butt didn't you? That is one of the most ridiculous generalizations that most technology comes from asian countries.

The fact is that the military and government customers dominate a very large portion the satellite market. U.S. government contracts, which probably make up more than 75% of all government satellites, require that all components on a U.S. military satellite be supplied by a U.S. company or go through a ton of red tape.

So, to minimize costs of maintaining 'government' and 'commercial' suppliers, most satellite manufacturers (Boeing, LockMart, Ball, Raytheon, etc.) use closer to 80% U.S. parts .

Unless you're going down to the transistor/capacitor/nut/bolt level, you won't find anything made outside of the U.S. All the circuit boards, thrusters, sensors, and signal processors are built in the U.S. Even the composite/steel structures are built in the U.S. to keep fabrication knowledge within the country.


RE: This is a cry for more money
By stromgald on 1/18/2007 8:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well costs have been rising due to the lack of demand for satellites and the nature of the industry. Each satellite is custom built. It's not like an airplane where they design it once and build a few hundred before a redesign. Even satellites within the same block or family are different because even with the same design, technology changes while they're building each one.

For example, DirecTV buys 3 satellites of pretty much the same capacity and design. Boeing starts building the first one. Technology changes, so they want to incorporate the new stuff in satellites 2 and 3. By the time they get to 3, DirecTV wants so much additional stuff, the satellite design just won't handle it easily, and there needs to be a redesign. It's even worse with government satellites. All this leads to cost, which leads to low demand, which again drives up cost.

What the industry needs is a kick in the pants that will double or triple demand. The future does look a little brighter since from 2010-2015 many satellites will be running out of propellant and there will be a significant boom in demand to replace the old ones.


Satellite Congestion?
By CrasHxxx on 1/18/2007 10:00:59 AM , Rating: 2
What happens to these old sats? Do they eventually lose orbit and come back home in a firey display, or are they destined to become derelicts and float around causing havoc for the trajectory of new sats for the CIA to check out bikini babes on the beaches or try and find terrorists at my backyard football BBQ party?

Anyone know?




RE: Satellite Congestion?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/18/2007 10:08:09 AM , Rating: 2
A NEO (near-earth-orbit) satellite will deorbit and crash to earth; a geosynchronous satellite stays where it is if left alone. Usually a satellite in geosynch is boosted to supersychronous orbit upon decomission, in order to reduce clutter at that level.


RE: Satellite Congestion?
By Spivonious on 1/18/2007 10:12:27 AM , Rating: 2
So rather than burning them up in reentry, we jettison them out to space? What a horribly wasteful practice. In 50 years we'll have to equip space shuttles with trash armor to break through the layer of old equipment littering space.


RE: Satellite Congestion?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/18/2007 10:34:40 AM , Rating: 2
I guess people can't do math any more...or have been watching too many episodes of Planet ES. Compute the surface area of a sphere 84,000km in diameter...an area roughly 36 times larger than the earth's surface. Now compare that to the size of your average satellite. We can launch satellites for millions of years and not appreciably fill up that space.

NEO orbit, now, has the potential to be considerably more crowded. But that's not what's under discussion here.


RE: Satellite Congestion?
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/18/2007 5:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the geo sats were only in the equatorial plane. Learn something new every day.


RE: Satellite Congestion?
By Eris23007 on 1/18/2007 7:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's only geostationary.

Geosynchronous might move relative to latitude on the ground, while maintaining the same longitude. Much less frequently used (since it stinks to have to keep moving a fixed satellite dish around), true, but still....


RE: Satellite Congestion?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/18/2007 9:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
> "Geosynchronous might move relative to latitude on the ground, while maintaining the same longitude"

Actually, a geosynch orbit traces a figure-eight upon the ground, varying both longitude and latitude. With enough eccentricity, its ground track more resembles a teardrop. A geostationary orbit is a geosynch orbit, which also sits with zero inclination at the equatorial plane.

BTW, technically, we don't have any geostationary satellites at all, as a "true" stationary orbit would require too much fuel for stationkeeping. So we let them have a small degree of inclination, and correct them if they get too far out of whack.


RE: Satellite Congestion?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/18/2007 9:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "I thought the geo sats were only in the equatorial plane..."

Many are, or very close to it. Yet quite a few speciality satellites are not. Take the Sirius Radio satellites for instance. They are geosynchronous, but not geostationary....so they trace a large, distorted figure eight over much of North and South America.


everything is america
By derdon on 1/19/2007 6:58:43 AM , Rating: 3
Funny how a plea for more money to observe environmental changes sparks a debate about homeland security with respect to terrorist attacks and that some people would go and kill every other to protect whatever they believe in.
But have you noticed? The old rethoric doesn't seem to work so well anymore and it's getting holes. You've got a gun, now you're secure from evil terrorist, so why don't you go outside and shoot that stupid tidal wave.




This is a cry for more money
By timmiser on 1/18/2007 2:57:26 AM , Rating: 2
I think $1 billion a year should do for them. It bugs me when they try to use their scare tactics to get a budget increase which is what this is really about. Like any other government agency, they need to quit crying for more money and find ways to make due with a billion a year. Us taxpayers have to find ways to make the most of our income, these guys need to suck it up and do the same.




UH oh
By Fnoob on 1/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: UH oh
By masher2 (blog) on 1/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: UH oh
By Googer on 1/18/07, Rating: -1
RE: UH oh
By Kuroyama on 1/18/2007 5:43:17 AM , Rating: 3
Did you even read the Dailytech summary? This has nothing to do with Mars and is about things like the very weather system upgrades that you are referring.


RE: UH oh
By Tsuwamono on 1/18/2007 8:21:53 AM , Rating: 2
From the sounds of your post the USA does have a huge problem with education. And im not refering to your obvious spelling error.

Sealing off the northern and southern borders? Are you retarded? Canada is like your biggest supplyer of many things and your biggest exportation of many other things.

Maybe the reason you have so many terrorist attacks is because ignorant people like you blame entire countrys for the acts of a few men. Im sure Usama is bad and all but doesnt mean all of Afganistan is bad. Same with Saddam and Iraq.

You should probably pick up a foreign news paper and take a gander of what is REALLY going on. Terrorist attacks in the US are few and far between, same with canada.

Maybe you should keep in mind that Canada has done alot for the states. We even threatened our own safty for you guys by continueing to tell the world that we are allies with you even after one of our major cities was threatened with a large scale terror attack if we didnt stop supporting you guys. We told them to shove their terrorist attack up their ass because the USA is a good ally.

I just hope you guys dont elect a president like you my friend because the whole world would be fucked up starting with the USA


RE: UH oh
By Grast on 1/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: UH oh
By Hare on 1/18/2007 11:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
After 911 if I had to kill every soul in Iraq to guarantee my son and every other fellow American's lives and way of life... I would do it.

So basically you say that you would be willing to sacrifice millions of innocent people just because a few of them might have something against you.

Suddenly you and a random terrorist seem to have a lot in common.


RE: UH oh
By Grast on 1/18/2007 12:43:45 PM , Rating: 1
How many so called innocent Germans and Japanese were killed in WW2 during daylight bombings of cities? Anwnser: None, all of the germans and japanese during WW2 were our enemy and enemy combantance. That is the reason we won those wars. We understood the only way to win was to destroy them.

I do not buy your argument that only a few of the Iraqis are responsible. They for the majority are supporting the terrorist either by active helping or simply going along with them.

You do not understand the idea of war. The idea of war is to kill your perceived enemy. That is the reason war is supposed to be avoided.

You stated I would sacrifice millions. I would say that I am removing millions of soldiers and collaborators. This is the difference between me and you. I am willing to make the hard decision and protect your freedom. If we played the game by your standards in the end, these very so called innocents would stand by and let the terrorist cut off you head.

The real world is brutal. Living in a delusional world were everyone can get along is only going to get your self killed.

Peace through superior firepower.


RE: UH oh
By Ringold on 1/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: UH oh
RE: UH oh
By rushfan2006 on 1/19/2007 9:12:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How many so called innocent Germans and Japanese were killed in WW2 during daylight bombings of cities? Anwnser: None, all of the germans and japanese during WW2 were our enemy and enemy combantance.


Note to self: Tell my grand father that he and his WW2 buddies are damn liars, no innocent Germans or Japanese existed or will killed in bombing runs in WW2 -- because someone said so on an Internet forum. ;)

Seriously, where the hell do you get this shit?

LOL

[quote]You stated I would sacrifice millions. I would say that I am removing millions of soldiers and collaborators. [/quote]

No I think you are taking what the guy said out of context. Yes he stated he'd kill ever soul in Iraqi if it meant it would assure freedom for his kid and all American's...but this was an expression of his convictions of saying "I'd do what needed to be done, if it came to that." Which is, different than someone saying I want to murder everyone in Iraq.

You are having a heated debate with the OP, so you are taking out of context the parts the benefit your argument in order to "fight back". (This is what everyone does - so its normal).





RE: UH oh
By rushfan2006 on 1/19/2007 9:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
Ugh..sorry for the confusion post I had both comments on a notepad to copy in...

This part, was suppose to go to the "other guy"...

quote]You stated I would sacrifice millions. I would say that I am removing millions of soldiers and collaborators. [/quote]

No I think you are taking what the guy said out of context. Yes he stated he'd kill ever soul in Iraqi if it meant it would assure freedom for his kid and all American's...but this was an expression of his convictions of saying "I'd do what needed to be done, if it came to that." Which is, different than someone saying I want to murder everyone in Iraq.

You are having a heated debate with the OP, so you are taking out of context the parts the benefit your argument in order to "fight back". (This is what everyone does - so its normal).





RE: UH oh
By goz314 on 1/18/2007 12:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, The comet has arrived. Your spaceship is waiting. Now, drink your kool-aid and dream of happy things.


RE: UH oh
By Kuroyama on 1/18/2007 8:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We want ... all of our laws obeyed.

Did you or any of your friends ever drink alcohol before the age of 21? Have you ever driven above the speed limit? There are most certainly plenty of other laws you haven't followed, but you probably only want to obey the laws that you like, ignore the ones you don't like, and meanwhile scold other people despite your own hypocrisy.


RE: UH oh
By nunya on 1/19/2007 1:26:49 AM , Rating: 3
Holy shit. I also have a son, and guns, and the people I feel the need to protect him from are people like you. People born in foreign countries have no more control over where they're born than we do. Sure there are some bad people out there who would like to do some very bad things to us, but I'm certain that the majority of the population just wants to go about their lives, not giving a shit about us, just like we want to go about our lives, not giving a shit about them. To be willing to kill all of those people just to get at a few (relatively speaking) bad ones is rediculous. You bring up the bombings in WWII and how you have to consider everyone in the country as an enemy, but we've been lucky enough to have never experienced anything like that here. I gaurantee your attitude would be different if your family and friends were being killed and their homes destroyed in a war they did not believe in, much less participate in. People like you are what's wrong with America.


RE: UH oh
By Mithan on 1/20/2007 11:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It means that I will no longer be told by the other countries of this world how to live my life or what values are important.


... but probably have no hesitation telling others how to live their own lives.



RE: UH oh
By masher2 (blog) on 1/18/2007 9:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
I get downrated for pointing out that comm satellites can't be used to observe hurricanes...yet posts like the above fly by without a scratch.

*shakes head*


RE: UH oh
By PandaBear on 1/18/2007 12:44:06 AM , Rating: 1
How do you think we predict and evacuate people BEFORE the hurricane hit?

Because you are praying to God?


RE: UH oh
By ADDAvenger on 1/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: UH oh
By AlmostExAMD on 1/18/2007 4:25:53 AM , Rating: 1
Doesn't matter, His point is spot on and is entitled to it, Just as you are flaming back at him and I am flaming you as I write this.


RE: UH oh
By ADDAvenger on 1/18/2007 10:31:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, his point is spot on, my point was simply that you can tell someone they're off their rocker without resorting to random and meaningless flames.


are they crazy? who let those morons be scientists!?
By slickr on 1/17/07, Rating: -1
By Zirconium on 1/17/2007 9:33:34 PM , Rating: 4
Space shuttles do not cause ozone holes when they are launched. Here is a link to a usenet post by Robert Parson, a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Universty of Colorado: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/ozone-depletion/intro/

quote:
Subject: 2.13) Do Space Shuttle launches damage the ozone layer?

Very little. In the early 1970's, when little was known about
the role of chlorine radicals in ozone depletion, it was suggested
that HCl from solid rocket motors might have a significant effect
upon the ozone layer - if not globally, perhaps in the immediate
vicinity of the launch. It was immediately shown that the effect
was negligible, and this has been repeatedly demonstrated since.
Each shuttle launch produces about 200 metric tons of chlorine as
HCl, of which about one-third, or 68 tons, is injected into the
stratosphere. Its residence time there is about three years. A
full year's schedule of shuttle and solid rocket launches injects
725 tons of chlorine into the stratosphere. This is negligible compared
to chlorine emissions in the form of CFC's and related compounds
(~1 million tons/yr in the 1980's, of which ~0.3 Mt reach the
stratosphere each year). It is also small in comparison to natural
sources of stratospheric chlorine, which amount to about 75,000 tons
per year. [Prather et al. 1990] [WMO 1991] [Ko et al.]


You are welcome to look up the papers he cited as well.


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