Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Dr. Willie Soon; The Geocarb Project cancellation leaves a lot of questions – like how NASA managed to spend $170 million on the CO2 monitoring project without putting anything into space.
NASA cancels greenhouse gas monitoring satellite due to cost
By SETH BORENSTEIN November 30, 2022
NASA is canceling a planned satellite that was going to intensely monitor greenhouse gases over the Americas because it got too costly and complicated.
But the space agency said it will still be watching human-caused carbon pollution but in different ways.
When it was announced six years ago, it was supposed to cost $166 million, but the latest NASA figures show costs would balloon to more than $600 million and it was years late, according to NASA Earth Sciences Director Karen St. Germain.
Unlike other satellites that monitor greenhouse gases from low Earth orbit and get different parts of the globe in a big picture, GeoCarb was supposed to be at a much higher altitude of 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) from one fixed place in orbit and focus intently on North and South America. That different and further perspective proved too difficult and costly to get done on budget and on time, St. Germain said.
The equipment alone has more than doubled in price and then there were non-technical issues that would have added more, she said. The agency has already spent $170 million on the now-canceled program and won’t spend any more.
…Read more: https://apnews.com/article/space-exploration-science-south-america-business-pollution-c3b6ea27eed442bbf9b57d310f7255c2
How could it possibly cost $600 million to launch two satellites to geostationary orbit? How did the agency manage to spend $170 million without launching a satellite?
I’d love to see an audit into the project, to see how much money if any was diverted to allegedly dual use purposes. Perhaps the incoming Republican congress could launch an investigation into NASA’s expenditure on “non technical issues”.
NASA may still proceed with another Earth focussed project, according to the AP article. Let us hope the new project doesn’t suffer cost blowouts and “non-technical” issues.