smooth wombat writes "A committee of the National Academy of Sciences, headed by Richard Anthens, has warned that 'the vitality of Earth science and application programs has been placed at substantial risk by a rapidly shrinking budget.' The list of Earth-observing satellite programs affected is a long one and includes satellite programs which observe nearly every aspect of Earth's climate. A delay in launching a replacement satellite or the disabling of a current satellite without a replacement could mean that data necessary to monitor or predict an upcoming event would be severely restricted. For its part NASA says that tight budgets force it to cut funding for all but the most vital programs. 'We simply cannot afford all of the missions that our scientific constituencies would like us to sponsor,' NASA administrator Michael Griffin told members of Congress when he testified before the House Science Committee February 16."