NOAA, FAA AST Space Programs Get Funding Boosts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Last week, we took a look at the significant increase in NASA’s budget for FY 2019. In this story, we will examine the budget increases for the Commerce Department — which manages the nation’s weather satellites — and the Department of Transportation, which oversees commercial launches. We will also take a look how the White House’s National Space Council fared.

Commerce Department

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA’s satellite programs received $1,45 billion, which is an increase of $55 million over FY 2018. The bulk of the funding is designated for the GOES-R,  Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Polar Follow-on (PFO) programs. The amounts include:

  • JPSS: $548 million
  • GOES-R: $408.4 million
  • PFO: $330 million


“Brilliant” Traitor Nozette to be Sentenced to 13 Years

Stewart David Nozette at the Taj Mahal in India.

by Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Stewart David Nozette is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday to 13 years in jail for attempting to sell some of America’s most sensitive space and defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence agent.

“His motive for betraying his country was greed, pure and simple,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “That defendant was by all accounts a brilliant scientist makes this crime especially troubling. His statement to the undercover FBI agent that anything ‘that the U.S. has done in space I’ve seen’ was not hyperbole. His statement that the classified information to which he had been granted access was ‘in my head’ was not exaggeration.

“His intellectual and creative gifts put him in positions of trust, which in turn literally opened for him secret vaults of information related to the national defense of the United States. As defendant himself put it to the FBI’s undercover employee (‘UCE’): ‘I had all the nuclear clearances. I had a whole raft of . . . special access [clearances].’”