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’GoreCam’ Satellite Project Shelved: No Available Flight

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2001
Triana has not worn the years of partisanship well. Dubbed the "GoreCam" by detractors, the NASA satellite survived a 1999 funding cut and scrutiny by the National Academy of Sciences, but now budget problems at the space agency have left it without a ride into space.

As former Vice President Al Gore envisioned it in 1998, the $120 million satellite would supply a stream of whole-Earth images to the Internet and so change the way children think of the environment.

Under the 2001 budget, NASA is limited to six space shuttle flights per year, too few to launch Triana and continue work on the International Space Station. NASA will store the satellite until at least 2004 at an annual cost of approximately $1 million. Triana's $3 million in solid rocket propellant expires in 2003, and it will cost up to $10 million to recalibrate the satellite's instruments whenever they again emerge.

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