Prospects for the National Land Imaging Program and Landsat 9

Prospects for the National Land Imaging Program and Landsat 9

A July 26, 2011 message from Ms. Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior, concerning the Landsat series of satellites:
“[T]he President’s 2012 budget request included a new account for National Land Imaging within the USGS budget framework. The requested funding for this account totals $99.817 million, consisting of $40.15 for continuing land imaging work that has been regularly occurring in USGS, $13.35 million for the LDCM (Landsat 8) ground system development in preparation for the LDCM launch in December 2012, and $48.0 million for beginning development of Landsat 9. The House bill for the 2012 budget, H.R. 2584, which has passed the Appropriations Committee and will be debated this week on the House floor, proposes $51.817 for these same work areas, reducing the LDCM funding from $13.35 to $11.667 and eliminating any funding for commencement of Landsat 9. The Committee declined to establish a new, separate account for the National Land Imaging Program. The House report on the bill states, ‘The Committee supports the continuation of the Landsat Program beyond Landsat 8 and urges the Administration to submit a fiscal year 2013 budget that does not offset increases for Landsat with decreases elsewhere in the Survey’s budget.’”
Note:
In more recent developments, H.R. 2584 was not debated on the floor before the adjournment and it is not clear that it will be taken up again. Instead, the Interior/Environment appropriation may be combined with other domestic bills and passed as an omnibus measure or there may simply be a continuing resolution.

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