Frankenstorm Causes One Space Policy Related Cancellation Already

Frankenstorm Causes One Space Policy Related Cancellation Already

The superstorm that is heading to the East Coast has caused the JAXA Washington Office to postpone Monday’s showing of a film in honor of 20 years of Japan-U.S. human spaceflight cooperation.  The new date is November 2.

With Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia already declaring states of emergency in preparation for the massive weather event nicknamed “Frankenstorm,” since it will take place so close to Halloween, JAXA and the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) decided today to postpone showing a third in a series of three movies about Japan’s successful asteroid sample-return mission Hayabusa.

It is likely not to be the last event that ends up being rescheduled due to the storm if current forecasts prevail.

NOAA’s weather satellites are showing Hurricane Sandy’s current position off the Florida coast after coming up through Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas.

Image credit:  NOAA

The unusual late season hurricane’s course remains somewhat uncertain, but computer models are coalescing on a scenario where it will make a sharp left turn into the mid-Atlantic states and make landfall in New Jersey where it will merge with another storm system arriving from the west.  Some are comparing it to New England’s 1991 “Perfect Storm,”  but others are remembering last year’s storms in New England — Tropical Storm Irene that caused tremendous flooding damage in Vermont and “Snowtober” that hit other parts of New England last October with extensive power outages due to trees still full of leaves collapsing on power lines.

A critical element of forecasting such storms is NOAA’s weather satellites.  NOAA’s ability to manage its weather satellite programs is under sharp scrutiny these days because of extensive cost overruns and schedule delays on the now-cancelled National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).    Some key Senators are worried that the replacement Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) could be headed for similar problems.



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