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NPOESS program restructured
Posted: Tue, Feb 2, 2010, 8:20 AM ET (1320 GMT)
NPOESS satellite illustration (NOAA) A weather satellite program that has suffered from delays and cost overruns will be restructured in the administration's budget request, unwinding a controversial joint effort between civil and military agencies. The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program had been a joint effort of the Defense Department, NOAA, and NASA to develop a new generation of polar-orbiting weather satellites to serve military and civil weather forecasting needs. The program, though, has suffered from major cost overruns and years of delays. Under the administration's new plan, the Defense Department and NOAA/NASA will separately procure their own polar satellites, operating in different orbits. The NOAA/NASA program will operate under a different name, the Joint Polar Satellite System, and the spacecraft will be based on a prototype NPOESS satellite, NPP, that has yet to be launched.
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