In a shocking abuse of politics over science, NASA has mothballed the most significant climate monitoring project of the decade. The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) held out the possibility of settling some lingering scientific questions and providing a whole new set of data on the climate crisis. This possibility, that it would cripple efforts to disseminate doubt about climate science, probably is what has led to it being left in a box in Maryland. NASA turned down offers from alarmed countries like France and Ukraine to launch the $100 million dollar satellite for free or almost free.
NASA quietly canceled the project altogether in January 2006 citing “competing priorities”.
What happened? How could the US government possibly justify killing DSCOVR given the importance of climate change and after over 90% of the project expenses had already been incurred? What role did petty partisan politics play in this? Did the oil lobby have any influence on this decision?
Over the next few months I am going to be digging into the history of DSCOVR, the reasons why it was cancelled, and why NASA refuses to release any internal documents on the decision to kill the mission.
Read the DeSmogBlog exclusive investigation into NASA’s DSCOVR climate station