Popular Science

NOAA’s satellites are on the chopping block. Here's why we need them.

Our eyes in the sky are facing budget cuts

On Friday, The Washington Post reportedly obtained a memo from within the Trump administration about proposed funding for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The memo outlined steep cuts to several divisions, including the elimination of the $73 million Sea Grant research program, cuts to climate research divisions, and more.

But the biggest cut The Post reported was to the agency's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service—NOAA’s satellite division—which would see its budget cut by 22 percent, or $513 million. The operates 16 satellites that orbit the Earth at a wide variety of altitudes and positions, gathering data that researchers in both the public and private sector rely on to do their jobs.

satellites

Not pictured: GOES-16, the agency's newest satellite.

The 45th administration has previously proposed deep cuts to NASA’s Earth Sciences division. NOAA and NASA frequently work together to launch satellites capable of monitoring conditions here on Earth. Cutting both programs to the bone would impact not only climate researchers, but the lives of everyday citizens.

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