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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2008. Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12254.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2008. Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12254.
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Page 80
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2008. Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12254.
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Page 81

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Appendixes

A Statement of Task An ad hoc committee will conduct an assessment and prepare a report that will: 1. Prioritize capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost or placed at risk following recent changes to NPOESS and the GOES-R series of polar and geostationary environmental monitoring satellites. These include capabilities that were lost or degraded as a consequence of alterations in the planned constellation of spacecraft and/or the removal or reduction in scope of remaining instruments; and 2. Present strategies to recover these capabilities. In conducting its assessment, the committee will build on information from the workshop that will be con- ducted in June 2007 by the separately appointed NRC Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft and on the panel’s report expected to be issued in August 2007. Included in this assessment will be the committee’s analysis of the capabilities and timeliness of the portfolio of missions recommended in the 2007 Earth Science and Applications from Space decadal survey to recover these capabilities, especially those related to research on Earth’s climate, and the potential role of existing and planned spacecraft operated by international partners and the role of existing and planned civil U.S. spacecraft. The com- mittee will also make a preliminary evaluation of the risks, benefits, and costs of placing—on NPOESS, GOES-R, or other space-based platforms—alternative sensors to those originally planned. 81

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In 2000, the nation's next-generation National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program anticipated purchasing six satellites for $6.5 billion, with a first launch in 2008. By November 2005, however, it became apparent that NPOESS would overrun its cost estimates by at least 25 percent. In June 2006, the planned acquisition of six spacecraft was reduced to four, the launch of the first spacecraft was delayed until 2013, and several sensors were canceled or descoped in capability.

Based on information gathered at a June 2007 workshop, "Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft," this book prioritizes capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost or placed at risk following the 2006 changes.

This book presents and recommends a prioritized, short-term strategy for recovery of crucial climate capabilities lost in the NPOESS and GOES-R program descopes. However, mitigation of these recent losses is only the first step in establishing a viable long-term climate strategy-one that builds on the lessons learned from the well-intentioned but poorly executed merger of the nation's weather and climate observation systems.

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