Dying old satellites jeopardize future storm coverage

In the NYT, a story about "endangered satellites" that orbit the earth and provide essential data for tracking storms like Hurricane Sandy. But because of "years of mismanagement, lack of financing and delays in launching replacements," they could begin falling apart—with no functional plan in sight to maintain those resources.


  1. Let The Market pay for it.  Surely we don’t really NEED this information, it’s just nice to have. If we really needed it we would be willing to pay for it, right? And private enterprise is the the way these things work best. If only Government would get out of the way, private enterprise could throw up a few satellites and charge the Government a reasonable fee (plus profit). 

    They will want you to believe that “private industry” could do all this better but what they neglect to say how much that will cost. But we should just trust them and hand over the contracts like we did to KBR in Iraq.  

  2. What kind of people want to squander YOUR money on satellites?  Tax-and-spend liberals, that’s who!

  3. considering how far we’ve let the infrastructure down here degrade, why should our assets up there be treated any different?

  4. If only there were some sort of program, one that could shuttle astronauts to space to fix and launch satellites as well as perform scientific advancement for the public good.

    1.  The Shuttle as we knew it couldn’t get close to the geo-stationary orbit of the satellites in question. However, there is no shortage of launch capability; only unmanned rockets are required.

  5. I used to work at Raytheon in their JPSS program.  The weather satellites we’re talking about are in polar orbit, not geostationary orbit.  I asked why the satellites have a projected useful life of only 5 years, and was told that battery failure is the usual cause of death.

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