on many NOAA missions, and the success and failures of NOAA often impact the NASA programs, and vice versa. Hence the present committee found it appropriate to review progress and issues at NOAA with respect to the decadal survey recommendations. A recommendation-by-recommendation discussion (using the recommendations from the survey) is provided in Appendix D; a summary is provided in Table 3.1. Based on the review provided in Appendix D, the committee found as follows:
Finding: NOAA’s capability to implement the assumed baseline and the recommended program of the 2007 decadal survey has been greatly diminished by budget shortfalls; cost overruns and delays, especially those associated with the NPOESS program prior to its restructuring in 2010 to become the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS); and by sensor descopes and sensor eliminations on both NPOESS and the Geostationary Orbit Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R).35
35 Even before the latest round of budget-driven delays and descopes, NOAA polar and geostationary programs had experienced severe budget challenges with particular consequences for research and operations deemed outside required “core” capabilities. See National Research Council, Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2008. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a number of reports detailing the origins of the cost overruns and assessing program management. See, for example, GAO, Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellites: Agencies Must Act Quickly to Address Risks That Jeopardize the Continuity of Weather and Climate Data, GAO-10-558 (Washington, D.C., May 10, 2010) and Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making, GAO-09-564 (Washington, D.C., June 17, 2009).