Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) has said the National Space Council should work to determine the scope of the U.S. Air Force‘s role in the delivery of weather data to the U.S. government, Breaking Defense reported Friday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 30 to re-establish the National Space Council that last operated in 1993.
Babin said at a forum hosted by the Aerospace Corp. and George Washington University that the council should also tackle the delayed launch of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite.
Raytheon designed and built the space-based weather sensor as a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman on the now-defunct National Polar-orbiting Operational Environment Satellite System program.
“After the cancellation of NPOESS because of bureaucratic failures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration took on the responsibility of providing weather data in the afternoon orbit, European partners were to provide data in the mid-morning orbit, and the [Defense Department] was to provide weather data from the early morning orbit,” said Babin.
He added that DoD should launch VIIRS and hold up its end of the agreement.