Cut may limit storm warnings

Aug. 03, 2012

Wild weather is costing Texas billions of dollars. One analysis conducted for Kiplinger.com found that property damage from severe weather caused the state $24.9 billion in property losses from 2002 to 2011.

And in 2012, we are just weeks into a summer that has already spawned devastating storms, floods, wildfires and heat waves across the nation.

It's hard to imagine a less opportune time to cut funding for weather forecasting. Yet that is exactly what will happen unless Congress repeals mandatory budget cuts scheduled to hit federal programs in 2013. These sequestration cuts include a…

Sequestration: A march of folly

Jul. 30, 2012

It is Washington conventional wisdom that sequestration won’t happen — that both parties are just playing a game of chicken that will be resolved in the nick of time. Unfortunately though, time is running out.

The reality is this: As of now, $1.2 trillion will be trimmed from the federal budget, and companies and federal agencies are making negative hiring, investment and procurement decisions based on what the law of the land tells them will happen come January 2. Any post-election fix will come too late to undue damage already done.

And what if there…

Women ascending to new heights in aerospace leadership

Jul. 12, 2012

Nearly 50 years ago a young woman majoring in chemistry went to her faculty advisor for career advice. “We don’t expect our female graduates to have careers,” she was told. Shannon Lucid went on to take five space flights and to hold for a time the record for the longest duration stay in space by an American, as well as by a woman.

The idea that an extremely accomplished woman such as Shannon Lucid would be discouraged from pursuing a career in her chosen academic field may seem ludicrous today. But we must acknowledge that our…

Funding weather satellites crucial for storm forecasting

Jun. 29, 2012

Several years ago, when a senior government official was testifying before Congress in defense of weather-satellite budgets, he was stunned to be asked by a member, "Why are we building meteorological satellites when we have the Weather Channel?"

Those of us in the aerospace industry know the short answer: Without the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there would be no Weather Channel. The satellite imagery and data utilized by the Weather Channel and countless other reporting and predicting outlets are generated by satellites operated by NOAA and developed under the auspices of the National Aeronautics and…

Fix Arms Export Laws For Commercial Satellite Sales: AIA

Jun. 29, 2012

It is long past time for Congress to reform the current laws governing the export of commercial satellites – an outmoded and counterproductive system intended to enhance national security while inadvertently undermining America's domestic space industry, a recent Defense Department report makes clear.

Whatever Congress's good intentions when it passed this law in 1998, the results have crippled the U.S. space industry. The barriers to export have, in effect, turned the domestic space industry into a de facto arsenal sustained almost exclusively by U.S. military purchases.

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