After a 17-year delay, former Vice President Al Gore’s satellite is about to lift off for outer space in part to measure–what else–global warming.
NASA reports that Gore’s satellite is set to blast off on Sunday evening. If it successfully makes it into space, GoreSat will eventually take a position about a million miles from the earth and spin around to point its cameras right back at us. There the satellite DSCOVR, or the Deep Space Climate Observatory–sneeringly dubbed “GoreSat” by detractors–is to gather data on space weather, measure the Earth’s reflectivity, and each day will beam back live images of our planet.
“I always thought that one way or another, it was going to get up there,” Gore said last week. “It would’ve been better years ago, but that’s ancient history.”
The satellite idea spent years in budgetary purgatory as Republicans fought to cancel what they called a wasteful program. It also suffered setbacks in priorities as NASA continually pushed other projects ahead of it.
Of course, the DSCOVR satellite will do far more than Gore envisioned it would. The former VP, losing Democrat candidate for President, and full-time global warming alarmist initially imagined that his satellite would only be used to beam back a constant live image of the earth as it orbits our Sun.
But after another $95 million refit to add new capabilities besides that constant livecam of the Earth Gore was so interested in, GoreSat will be used to monitor dangerous solar particles ejected from the Sun toward our home world. The new satellite will replace a satellite named ACE–the satellite that now serves as our solar particle monitor–because ACE is soon to go out of service due to its age and state of repair.
Still, many Republicans are wincing at the final price tag. GoreSat was supposed to cost a mere $75 million when it was proposed in 1998 but with all its delays, refits, and re-purposing the final tally is closer to $340 million.
For his part, Al Gore is claiming that to be “vindicated” by the launch of the satellite. Despite that it is meant to do far more than the simple idea he envisioned for the project, Gore said he was “gratified” by the launch date. He went on to thank “the scientists and engineers who have kept the faith” for his multimillion-dollar livecam.
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