“We need to move from the government owning and operating huge satellites to a day when the government can purchase data from private satellite operators,” Rep. James Bridenstine (R-Okla.) said Sept. 16 at a Washington Space Business Roundtable lunch. “The historic government monopoly of weather satellites and associated data is now at the point of creating unnecessary costs, delays and risks that could dramatically degrade U.S. weather forecasting.”

Ultimately, Bridenstine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, wants to “get the government out of the way” by replacing large NOAA-operated weather satellites that must be launched by some of the biggest rockets in the U.S. with constellations of smaller spacecraft launched atop smaller rockets. Credit: SES Government