Who Killed The Deep Space Climate Observatory? (2011)

NASA built a satellite designed to track global warming. It never launched, and more than a decade later, it sits in a box in Maryland:

“It has never become entirely clear why the satellite had ended up here. In his 2009 book Our Choice, Gore wrote, ‘The Bush Cheney administration canceled the launch within days of taking office on January 20, 2001, and forced NASA to put the satellite into storage.’ Warren Wiscombe, a senior physical scientist at NASA, blames a Bush-era ‘hostility’ to earth science at NASA. ‘As to who ordered the axing of the mission,’ he says, ‘we’ll never know, but the word we got was that Dick Cheney was behind it.’

“Mitchell Anderson, a Vancouver-based reporter who has obsessively covered the DSCOVR story, also suspects Cheney’s hand, citing an unnamed NASA informant. Over the course of three years, Anderson filed five Freedom of Information Act requests for documents related to DSCOVR. After querying NASA in 2006, he waited 11 months to receive the documents. ‘They told me they were consulting with their lawyers,’ says Anderson, who was then writing for desmogblog.com. ‘When they finally e-mailed me the documents, they were scanned sideways. I couldn’t read the top and bottom of the pages.’ The 70-page packet contained mostly letters that prominent scientists had written in defense of DSCOVR. All correspondence relating to the mission’s mothballing was excluded.”

Source: Popular Science
Published: Apr 6, 2011
Length: 12 minutes (3,041 words)
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