NPOESS Funding Cut by Senate Authorizers

by




The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has recommended removing most of the money for a military weather satellite program and increasing funding for the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office, according to a May 28 committee press release.

In its version of the 2011 Defense Authorization bill, the Senate panel authorized only $110 million of the U.S. Air Force’s $352 million request for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). The House Armed Services Committee authorized  just $52 million for NPOESS in its authorization bill passed May 21.

The Senate committee recommended adding $20 million to the Air Force’s $94 million request for the ORS Office, after the House committee recommended adding $40 million to the request.

The Senate committee recommended adding another $30 million to ensure that “nuclear detection sensors are manifested on space platforms,” the release said. The panel also authorized another $15 million for the Air Force’s Space Test Program for “additional small launch capability.”

Both the Senate and House bills recommend cutting $30 million from the Air Force’s $185.9 million request for a follow-on Space Based Space Surveillance satellite. Both bills call for adding $50 million to continue development of new satellite communications technologies. The House and Senate must approve identical authorization bills before they can become law.