dscovr climate satellite

Mon, 2009-03-30 20:28Mitchell Anderson
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NASA Reneges on Transparency - Still No DSCOVR Documents

It was welcome news last month when Congress committed $9 million to refurbish the long-overdue Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). Good start. So how about some information to go with it?

Desmog blog readers will recall the long and fruitless quest to wring documents out of NASA about the bizarre story of the DSCOVR spacecraft. This $100 million instrument was fully completed eight years ago yet has been sitting in a box in Maryland ever since.

DSCOVR was designed to directly measure climate change for the first time ever by observing our warming planet from the unique vantage of the Lagrange Point - one million miles towards the Sun.

The climate denial industry has been regularly harping on the unreliability of low Earth orbit satellite data for years. Strange then, how the very experiment that could resolve such issues was mothballed – over the strenuous objections of dozens of leading researchers.

I struggled for over a year to extract any kind of internal documents from NASA using the Freedom of Information Act and got nowhere. After 11 months of stonewalling, the space agency elected to withhold an unknown number of documents due to some very bizarre rationales. I appealed later in 2007 and was also turned down.

Then Barack Obama was elected President of the United States….

Sun, 2008-11-30 13:59Mitchell Anderson
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“DSCOVR killed by Cheney” - NASA Insider

An unnamed source within NASA intimately familiar with the mothballed Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission spoke to Desmog Blog on the condition of anonymity.

The story is incredible.

The big question has always been: who would want to kill a $100 million fully completed climate satellite that has sat in a box since the 2000 presidential election - even though dozens of leading scientists have demanded it be launched?

Apparently Cheney was the hatchet man”, said the source. “Bush tried the keep his hands clean so he didn’t have direct involvement. It almost reminds me of the way Nixon used to operate…He assigned Cheney to be the hatchet man job on DSCOVR… Bush’s fingerprints weren’t on it but Cheney’s were… That’s what we heard through the grapevine.”

Wed, 2008-10-29 16:44Mitchell Anderson
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DSCOVR Mission May Be Gutted

Here is the latest twist in the bizarre story about the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). Apparently, the US Air Force is in discussions with NASA to take over the mission, with one important catch: that all the Earth observing instruments be removed.

It seems the Air Force is more interested in looking at the Sun than our warming planet and plans are being made to send the spacecraft one million miles distant – only to look the other way.

Fri, 2007-10-12 08:05Mitchell Anderson
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How Much Is Monitoring Climate Change Worth?

Part 6 in our “Uncover DSCOVR” series featuring science writer Mitchell Anderson
Like any government body, NASA has to decide where is best to spend it’s finite resources. These decisions aren’t easy but they are essential to ensure that the funds entrusted by the taxpayer are allocated in a coherent and thoughtful way.

 

Looking through that lens, it is hard to imagine how NASA saw fit to cancel DSCOVR after it was built – ostensibly due to lack of resources – when they are continuing to shovel literally billions of dollars on two mega projects that arguably have no scientific merit whatsoever. I speak of the International Space Station (ISS) and the proposed manned mission to Mars.
Fri, 2007-09-28 15:50Mitchell Anderson
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Could DSCOVR be saved by NOAA?

Here is the latest bizarre twist in our investigative series on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

To recap, NASA was given over $100 million in taxpayers money to build a spacecraft that would look at the energy budget of our planet from a unique perspective. Even though it is fully completed over five years ago, it is still sitting in a box at the Goddard Space Centre.

According to leading scientists in a recent paper in the esteemed journal Science, this spacecraft would dispel much existing uncertainty about the pace of climate change.

Wed, 2007-09-19 16:07Mitchell Anderson
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FOIA, NASA, DSCOVR - My Acronym Hell

My last posting was about my teeth-pulling exercise to get information from NASA about their bizarre decision to cancel DSCOVR.

Last year, I filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to NASA for all documents relating to the decision to cancel DSCOVR. Almost a year later, I got about 80 pages of documents - mostly letters from concerned scientists about the cancellation of the mission. NASA withheld all their internal documents so I filed an appeal. Last July, I got my response: Bupkis (that’s Yiddish for goat shit).

So in the interest of full disclosure, I am posting my FOIA request, all the documents from NASA, and my highly unsatisfactory appeal res
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