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Report Warns of Satellite Coverage Gaps

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Looming coverage gaps in U.S. satellite systems could pose a serious threat to both national security and foreign relations, says a report from the Center for a New American Security.

The CNAS released its 11-page report Monday, finding the coverage gaps will directly affect the Defense Department, State Department and the Agency for International Development.

Report authors Christine Parthemore and Will Rogers found the U.S. depends on satellite systems in many unacknowledged ways, with many of the satellites monitoring climate change and other environmental trends.

The authors wrote that by 2016, NASA will only have seven operational earth monitoring satellites. NASA currently has 13 satellites in operation.

“With key satellites aging and new systems failing to launch, the nation’s technical capacity to plan effectively for global environmental change is waning rapidly,” the report says. “The effects of climate change – from emerging geopolitical tensions in the Arctic record-breaking natural disasters in Asia – are already affecting military requirements and other security concerns.”

FierceGovernmentIT reports the CNAS findings have been widely documented in NASA and NOAA inspectors general reports, Government Accountability Office reports and Congressional testimony.

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