NASA in the news again. After last week’s successful final launch of Discovery, this week there has been a huge setback in the loss of Glory, a climate monitoring satellite.
The Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA’s Glory satellite lifted from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and plummeted to the southern Pacific several minutes later. The same thing happened to another climate-monitoring probe in 2009 with the same type of rocket, and engineers thought they had fixed the problem.
Thirteen NASA Earth-observing satellites remain up there, and nearly all of them are in their sunset years.
“Many of the key observations for climate studies are simply not being made,” Harvard Earth sciences professor James Anderson said.
However, Freilich, at a budget briefing a year ago, described the Earth-watching satellites as “all old,” adding that 12 of the 13 “are well beyond their design lifetimes.”
“We’re losing the ability to monitor really key aspects of the climate problem from space,” said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Arizona. “Just about every climate scientist in the world has got to be sad right now.”
Now, we know that I’m not really into conspiracy theories, but I must ask – how has it come that both of NASA’s climate monitoring satellites have ended up in the ocean? Yes, perhaps it is chance, coincidence, bad luck or bad planning/design. NASA has been known to stuff up before. But still. How hard would it be to sabotage something like this? Unlikely, probably. But I wouldn’t rule it out. There are a lot of people out there who don’t want to know and don’t want others to know about Climate Change. They certainly wouldn’t want NASA collecting evidence of the sort. I’m just saying
Anyways, these are dark days for NASA. Yes, there are other satellites out there orbiting the earth at the moment (in fact, so many that it’s getting a bit crowded). But I think NASA is an American institution. I trust NASA, and I think others do as well (possibly more than our own government, certainly more than most corporations). I am possibly talking out of my ass here, but the quest for science and knowledge is a worthy cause (in my humble and unbiased opinion), and I would like to see NASA be supported (financially!) and continue to launch satellites and collect information about our planet, and other planets and celestial bodies. I know it costs a lot of money, but whats a $424 million rocket when the fate of our planet (due to many things, but climate change is at the forefront of my mind right now, and this rocket would have provided data about such critical threats) is at stake?