NASA Headquarters forbids NASA Goddard from performing the monthly TRMM orbit boost, and within days, the TRMM satellite falls below its normal operating altitude. However, Headquarters does allow all of the TRMM instruments to remain turned on and collecting data.
The Space News weekly magazine publishes a front-page article titled "NASA Plan to End TRMM Mission Spurs Backlash, Debate."
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) issues a press release titled "Termination of Operations of TRMM," which states that NASA had convinced JAXA to allow TRMM to begin orbital decay in July of 2004.
Salt Lake City's Deseret Morning News (page B1) publishes an article titled "U. Scientist Fears Demise of Earth-Imaging Satellite."
Space News publishes an editorial (page 12) about funding a TRMM extension titled "Paying for Mission Operations."
NASA Headquarters issues a press release titled "NASA To Decommission TRMM."
The journal "Science" publishes a short article (page 321) titled "Cloud Darkens for Rainfall Satellite."
A front page article in the Washington Post is titled "NASA Denies Funding for Key Satellites: Decision on Orbiter Frustrates Scientists." The July 19 Post article is also printed that day in three other newspapers: the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (page 3A), the San Francisco Chronicle (page A4), and the California's Contra Costa Times (page A10). In the Chronicle, the title is "NASA ending storm-tracking mission: No more funding for satellite used to save lives on Earth."
Monday evening, the Marketplace business show airs a news segment about TRMM that calls the satellite a "victim." The segment is titled "The Sky is Falling," and it is broadcast by more than 300 public radio stations across the country.
Space News publishes an article titled "Japan and NASA agree to end TRMM operations by 2004" (page 18).
The editorial page of the Washington Post (page A16) contains a political cartoon that makes a reference to the TRMM satellite in the first of its four panels. The cartoon's text is as follows: "A NASA satellite used to study global warming and to track hurricanes will be sent to a watery grave. And the Hubble telescope, which has provided unprecedented views of the universe, will be going dark. We're going to use our space budget for real science! Golfing on Mars. Now watch this drive. Darn! I was hoping the Hubble would get a shot of this."
Representative Nick Lampson, the ranking democrat on the House Science Committee's Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee issues a press release and writes a letter to President Bush asking him to find a way to continue TRMM operations.
The Washington Post (page A9) publishes an article titled "Lawmakers Make Plea to Keep Weather Satellite." On the same day, one of the seven articles in the Post's "Week in Review" (page A3) is about TRMM and is titled "NASA to Allow Satellite To Fall From Earth's Orbit." The Week in Review only appeared on page A3 in the early edition of the Sunday paper, not the final edition. The July 24 Post article was reprinted in the Arizona Republic newspaper (page A17), with headquarters in Phoenix.
Representative Sherwood Boehlert, the chairman of the House Science Committee, issues a press release that says that he has written to John Marburger, the director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Boehlert asks Marburger to find a way to continue TRMM operations.
The San Francisco Chronicle publishes a letter to the editor (page E4) on the Chronicle's Monday article about TRMM. The letter is titled "NASA dooms a useful weather satellite," and it criticizes NASA's decision to terminate TRMM.
A Washington Post editorial (page B6) is titled "Space Anniversaries." The third paragraph of the editorial refers to NASA's decision to terminate TRMM as "contradictory."
The top editorial in the Willmington Star-News (page 8A) is titled "Blinding an eye on the storms." The Star-News is North Carolina's oldest continuously published newspaper. The editorial points out that TRMM is relevant to "those of us who every year brace to protect our lives and property from the monstrous storms that this satellite has been helping us understand."
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Remote Sensing Laboratory
Electronic and Control Systems Engineering
Interdisciplinary Faculty of Science and Engineering