Obama proposed Wednesday spending nearly $35 million in his 2014 budget to refurbish a satellite, nicknamed GoreSat by critics, that’s been sitting in storage after it was shelved in 2001, months after Bush took office. It cost about $100 million by then with NASA’s internal auditors faulting its cost increases.
The satellite — known as Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DISCOVR — is scheduled for a November 2014 launch, according to AP. The Air Force is paying for it, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will run the mission.
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Acting NOAA chief Kathryn Sullivan said its main mission will to give Earth warning when solar storms — which can zap power systems on the ground and fry satellite electronics — are on the way. That job is now being done by a NASA satellite that has surpassed its scheduled lifetime, she said.
Obama's budget contained several nods to climate change, though his budget is unlikely to gain approval from the GOP-controlled House.