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back to article Oz lays plans to cover possible US met sat gap

In the aftermath of Sandy-the-storm, a surprised America looked skywards and started wondering about Uncle Sam’s weather forecasting prowess. In particular, venerable organs like Time and the New York Times have voiced concerns that as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-and NASA-run polar weather satellite …

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Only morons were surprised

There was at least 3 days warning before the US was hit. There was plenty of time for people to get prepared or pull out.

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Cheap Satellite Launch

Rather than launching traditional expensive satellites, isn't it time countries dusted off old plans for launching small, cheap satellites, which could be replaced easily?

For example, Gerald Bull's HARP based supergun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Bull

Although Bull's project had a colourful and tragic end, with Bull himself being assassinated in his apartment in Belgium, the fact is his technology worked - he successfully launched small payloads into suborbital trajectories, and had a clear engineering path to creating a simple space launcher capable of pushing payloads into orbit at a fraction of the cost of traditional launches.

That way countries wouldn't be stuck with trying to fund expensive launch programmes at times of national financial distress - they could simply push whatever they needed into orbit, for thousands rather than millions of dollars, as and when they needed.

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Wasn't it the European models that called it a week out?

I thought I read this somewhere, but I can't speak to it's accuracy.

I think I've heard that Europe invests in their weather service a bit better than we do in the US - meteorology is a rather easy target when one is looking cut the budget, even if the savings are tiny politicians prefer to brag about savings that few will see any immediate danger in cutting, rather than something where it actually makes a difference like defense or medicare but will get people up in arms.

If European meteorologists did in fact make the call well before the Americans did, perhaps that will serve as a wakeup call to congress that when they want millions for a new supercomputer every couple years it isn't for nothing.

On the other hand, maybe we can continue to save money and let the Europeans forecast our weather, in exchange for us keeping them safe from the USSR, or whatever the hell it is we need to spend a half trillion a year on defense for.

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Once again I'm confused...

Richard Chirgwin wrote:

"Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership birds"

Suomi is Finnish for Finland. Didn't see Finland involved.

Coincidence? I guess.

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