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America could be facing a year of lacking weather coverage due to aging satellites

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NASA Hurricane Sandy
NASA Hurricane Sandy

Satellites provide important data about potentially dangerous storms, but as many of these satellites reach the end of their lifespan, the United States could be facing a significant gap in weather coverage, reports the New York Times. A new polar satellite called the JPSS-1 is slated to launch in 2017, but several independent reviews suggest that this won't be in time to prevent a gap in coverage that could last a year or more. The reasons for the delayed launch include everything from reported mismanagement to a lack of adequate funding. And despite "urgent restructuring" at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, it doesn't look like the satellite will be launching in time to avoid the impending coverage gap, which could take place at some point between 2016 and 2018.