Florida’s Senior United States Senator Democrat Bill Nelson and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu are urging their senate colleagues to expedite the construction and launch of a new weather satellite.
Nasa’s QuickScat Satellite provides high resolution measurements of sea-level winds which are an important component in hurricane forecasting. But QuickScat, which was supposed to have a five year life span, is now in its 8th year of operation – and could fail at anytime. Senator Nelson says it’s critical that it be replaced.
“if we suddenly lose this by it going on the blink it would lessen our accuracy of our hurricane tracking forecast by about 16 percent – we need every bit of information we can get so when the monster comes we want to know where it’s going to hit so you can get the people out of harms way.”
According to National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza, no replacement is planned. Design and construction of a new satellite would take 3 to 4 years and cost up to 400 million dollars. Nelson and Landrieu are asking the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to schedule a hearing on the importance of weather satellites. They have also introduced a bill to develop a replacement satellite.
Monday, 11 June 2007 01:00
Weather SatelliteWritten by WGCU Newsroom