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Tue, 2007-11-20 09:13Mitchell Anderson
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NASA stonewalls another US agency that wants to launch DSCOVR

It has now been several months since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) formally requested that NASA transfer to them all DSVOVR assets - including of course the spacecraft itself.
 
The response from NASA? Nothing. Nada. Zippo.
 
Incredibly, NASA has so far completely ignored colleagues from another US government agency that want to make use of a $100 million spacecraft that NASA themselves stated last year they have no intention of launching.

Mon, 2007-10-22 10:50Mitchell Anderson
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Did Bush’s Mars Plan Scuttle DSCOVR?

When the now-Nobel Laureate Al Gore proposed the DSCOVR mission way back in 1998, he was widely jeered by Republicans for interfering in the scientific business of NASA.

“Gore-sat”, “Gore-cam”, and “the multi-million dollar screen saver” were all quips trotted out on the floor of the Senate and Congress in opposition to the mission.

DSCOVR was a victim of such partisan politics. Even though it is fully completed at a cost of $100 million, this unique spacecraft remains in a storage box in Maryland, rather than providing critical data on the progress of climate change.
NASA quietly cancelled DSCOVR last year, citing “competing priorities”.

What could they be? Perhaps the biggest was George Bush’s edict NASA in January 2004 to put a human on the surface of Mars.

Fri, 2007-10-19 18:18Mitchell Anderson
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Whitehouse Stonewalls DSCOVR Information Request

If you're not interested in the issue of climate change, fine, but this story is as much about that as it is about a new ruling that further erodes your right to information from your government.
Digging up information on the cancellation of the DSCOVR climate satellite mission has been like pulling teeth. The dental work continued this week, this time with the Whitehouse.

Last month, I filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to the Office of Administration in Washington DC, asking for copies of any records “relating to the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, formerly known as Triana, from the period January 1, 2000 to the present.” (documents attached to the end of this post).

Update: someone just sent this Washington Post article to us, seems we're pretty justified in our outrage.

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
Wed, 2007-09-12 21:38Mitchell Anderson
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Uncover DSCOVR Part 3: Digging for Answers from NASA

My entry into the DSCOVR mission intrigue happened last year when I pitched the idea to SEED magazine for a feature article on the project.
 
DSCOVR was quietly killed by NASA in January 2006 and it seemed awfully strange to me that a fully completed climate satellite costing $100 million would be mothballed after it had been built.
 
Stranger still was that virtually every scientist I interviewed as I researched this piece expressed something between guarded disappointment to full-blown outrage that what they considered crucial mission had been canceled.
 
This is part 3 in Mitchell Anderson's investigative series on the DSCOVR climate satellite. Please help us in our research on this important project by donating to DeSmogBlog. Thanks to all those people who already have.

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