Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Loss for the Earth: Triana Canceled

Earth Full South Pacific
In a New York Times Op-Ed piece, Robert L. Park reports on the quiet cancelation by NASA of an Earth observing satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory, also called Triana. Positioned at the L1 Lagrange point, it would have had a continuous view of the full Earth and carried instruments to monitor the planet's energy balance, contributing to our understanding of global warming. Although "competing priorities" were cited, Dr. Park also points out that a better understanding of global warming is not exactly one of the Bush administration's highest priorities.

There are other Earth monitoring satellites, and I know there are other priorities for NASA and the US government. But it really seems unfortunate that this relatively low cost spacecraft (which has been ready for launch since 2001) will not be used for this important mission.

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