Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Link here. The editorial at Space News outlines the effort in Congress to force NOAA to buy weather data supplied by private commercial satellite companies rather than build its own satellites. It also outlines what might be the major reason private companies have never been able to make a profit in the field:
The agency [NOAA] is obliged as a member the World Meteorological Organization [WMO] to share weather data openly and freely with other nations. If that obligation applies to commercially procured data, as NOAA insists, it could dramatically shrink the addressable global market for commercial weather data — to the point that it could shatter business models. – See more at: http://spacenews.com/editorial-inching-toward-a-commercial-weather-policy/#sthash.vG9fs3Sj.dpuf
In other words, private companies can’t sell their data because of the U.S.’s membership in the WMO, which requires that data to be made available for free. To make the commercialization of weather work, the U.S. is going to have to pull out of WMO, something I think will be difficult to sell to Congress.