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NOAA Assailing Agency for Undermining its Weather Forecasters as It Defends President Donald Trump’s Claim

They say NOAA's action risks the credibility of the nation's weather and science agency and may even risk lives

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NOAA, Agency, Weather Forecasters
President Trump, left, listens as Kenneth Graham, director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, on screen, gives an update during a briefing about Hurricane Dorian at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. VOA

Former top officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are assailing the agency for undermining its weather forecasters as it defends President Donald Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian had threatened Alabama.

They say NOAA’s action risks the credibility of the nation’s weather and science agency and may even risk lives.

The critics served both Republican and Democratic presidents. Among them are four former top NOAA officials and a former disaster response chief.

NOAA, Agency, Weather Forecasters
President Trump, left, listens as Kenneth Graham, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, on screen, gives an update during a briefing about Hurricane Dorian at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. VOA

On Friday, a NOAA statement from an anonymous spokesperson lent support to Trump’s warning days earlier that Alabama faced danger from Dorian. Alabama had never been included in official hurricane advisories and his information was outdated.

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The statement undermined a National Weather Service tweet from Sunday that had said Alabama would see no impact from Dorian. (VOA)

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India’s Space Agency Locates Lunar Probe that Was Feared Lost as It Was Making its Final Approach

The Vikram lander was just two kilometers above the moon's South Pole Saturday when ground controllers lost contact with the spacecraft

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India, Space, Agency
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) employees react as they listen to an announcement by organizations's chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan at its Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network facility in Bangalore, India, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. VOA

India’s space agency says it has located the lunar probe that was feared lost as it was making its final approach towards the surface last weekend.

The Vikram lander was just two kilometers above the moon’s South Pole Saturday when ground controllers lost contact with the spacecraft. The Indian Space Research Organization said Tuesday the Chandrayaan-2 probe has discovered the lander on the surface, but had not yet established communications with Vikram, named after Vikram Sarabhai, the scientist regarded as the “father” of India’s space program.

If the probe landed intact, India will join the United States, Russia and China as the only nations to achieve a soft landing of a spacecraft on the moon. It will also become the first nation to attempt a controlled landing on the moon’s South Pole.

India, Space, Agency
India’s space agency says it has located the lunar probe that was feared lost as it was making its final approach towards the surface last weekend. Pixabay

The $141 million Chandrayaan-2 mothership entered lunar orbit nearly a month after it was launched aboard India’s powerful Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark Three rocket.  The Vikram lander was designed to release a small rover that will roam the moon’s surface in search for signs of water, and to assess its topography and geology.

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Chandrayaan-2 was a huge step up from India’s previous space explorations, such as its first moon mission in 2008 and a mission to Mars in 2013 that involved sending a spacecraft to the Red Planet. (VOA)