Time to Get Serious:

The House Science Committee began what it believes will be a series of meetings to figure out how to proceed with the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System—a critical new weather satellite that is expected to serve both military and civil needs. Committee Chair, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) said June 8 that the only certainty is that the US must make NPOESS work. However, Boehlert and fellow lawmakers chastised Pentagon officials—only DOD, although this is a joint program with NOAA and NASA—for not being forthcoming with requested documents that would provide more insight into the Pentagon’s new plan. Boehlert said DOD’s attempt to tell lawmakers to “trust us, is, on its surface, preposterous,” considering the Pentagon’s “previous cost estimates have been off by more than 66 percent.” What worries Boehlert up front with the new scheme is that the Pentagon’s new-found cost consciousness may lead to “recklessly throwing sensors, especially climate sensors, overboard to save relatively small amounts of money.”