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Highlights

Environmental satellites provide data used for weather forecasting, measuring variations in climate over time, and predicting space weather. Due to the continuing cost, schedule, and tri-agency management challenges of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)--a key satellite acquisition managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)--the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) decided in February 2010 to disband NPOESS and, instead, to have NOAA and DOD undertake separate acquisitions. GAO was asked to summarize its report being released today on plans for NOAA's and DOD's separate acquisitions and the key risks of the transition, as well as its recent work on federal efforts to establish long-term strategies for satellite-provided climate and space weather data.

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