Posted by Curt on 11 April, 2013 at 8:59 pm. 1 comment.


Anthony Watts @ Watts Up With That?

There’s no money to run White House tours, but apparently there’s money to pull one of Al’s pet projects out of mothballs.

Satellite shelved after 2000 election to now fly

By SETH BORENSTEINWASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing dusting off and finally launching an old environmental satellite championed by Al Gore but shelved a dozen years by his 2000 rival George W. Bush.

Obama proposed Wednesday spending nearly $35 million in his 2014 budget to refurbish a satellite, nicknamed GoreSat by critics, that’s been sitting in storage after it was shelved in 2001, months after Bush took office. It cost about $100 million by then with NASA’s internal auditors faulting its cost increases.

In 1998, Gore, then vice president, proposed the idea of a satellite that would head nearly 1 million miles out in deep space in a special gravity balancing area between Earth and the Sun. The satellite would gaze at Earth, beam down a continuous picture of our planet and take what scientists said was needed climate change measurements.

It originally was named Triana after the sailor on Christopher Columbus’s crew who first sighted land in the Americas. NASA later changed its name to Deep Space Climate Observatory or DISCOVR. But it often got called GoreSat by opponents who called it an expensive screensaver for the vice president.



Readers may recall this comment from “DAV” on WUWT:

Al has claimed to be American technology’s biggest boon (invented the Internet donchya know) yet was almost solely responsible for the Triana spacecraft (aka GoreSat in some circles now known as DSCOVR). The only spacecraft conceived without a mission — in a Lagrangian orbit no less. Al’s idea essentially: we should have a camera in orbit constantly looking at the Earth. You should have seen the scrambling to find things for it to do. The final mission instrument complement was all after the fact add-on. When it comes to technology I think Al is clueless.

What misleads Al isn’t the “consensus” so much as belief in his own ability to forecast the direction of the wind.

Disclosure: I worked on Triana.

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