WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Meteorological Satellite Organization (Eumetsat) formally extended their longstanding cooperative agreement in a ceremony Aug. 27 in Washington.

The two agencies have collaborated for 30 years on space-based weather, ocean and climate monitoring, sharing data and flying sensors on one another’s polar-orbiting satellites.

The agreement covers the agencies’ primary polar-orbiting weather satellites as well as the Jason ocean surface topography mission.  

The previous agreement did not have a formal expiration date, and the new agreement contains no additional areas of cooperation. Instead, officials joked that the ceremony, attended by Kathleen Sullivan, NOAA’s acting administrator, and Alain Ratier, Eumetsat’s director general, was similar to a renewal of marriage vows. 

Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...