An Environmental Whodunnit: Who killed the DSCOVR climate project?

Something seems rotten in the state of Maryland.

Somewhere in Maryland is box containing a $120 million satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). It is ready to go and has the potential to answer some of the big questions around the science of climate change.

An environmental whodunnit: the DSCOVR climate project

But, in January, 2006, NASA quietly cancelled the project altogether in January 2006 citing “competing priorities”.

What happened? How could the US government possibly justify killing DSCOVR given the importance of climate change and after over 90% of the project expenses had already been incurred? What role did petty partisan politics play in this? Did the oil lobby have any influence on this decision?

Over the next few months will be digging into the history of DSCOVR, the reasons why it was cancelled, and why NASA refuses to release any internal documents on the decision to kill the mission.

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