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NASA Earth System Explorer Program Faces Delay; Sandra Cauffman Quoted

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Sandra Cauffman
Sandra Cauffman

NASA is likely to postpone the start of its Earth System Explorer program, which is one of the recommended lines of missions in the 2018 Earth science decadal survey, due to budget constraints, SpaceNews reported Monday.

Sandra Cauffman, acting director of NASA’s Earth science division, said the agency hopes to issue the first solicitation for the Earth System Explorer program this year.

“But given the appropriations we got in ’20 and the look out that we have for ’21, it doesn’t look promising that we can do it next year or even ’22,” she said. “We’ll just have to keep a watch on the budget developments.”

Earth System Explorer is a line of medium-class missions that would be competed and focus on studies in seven Earth science areas. Under the program, NASA will pick the first set of proposals before selecting one from the initial set to transition to full-scale development.