Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


This chapter covers the first two years of the Biden Administration (2021–2022). Biden unshackled NASA and increased its Earth Sciences budget beyond the $2 billion mark. He approved a new five-satellite program for the 2020s—in line with the 2017–2027 NRC Decadal Survey. NASA plans included further study of glacial melt and sea-level rise. NASA spoke out more strongly about the threat and enhanced its sea-level change team’s outreach activity with an aim for climate projections. SWOT, a Freilich legacy and $1.2 billion next-generation satellite with CNES that looked not only at the ocean but inland seas, launched in late 2022. NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) agreed to work closely on further satellite development. ESA was willing to shoulder much of the operations NASA wished to avoid in favor of pushing advanced technology and scientific breakthroughs. Working out this balance between R&D and long-term monitoring, as well as relationships among agencies to further satellite development, would be up to NASA’s new Earth Sciences Director, Karen St. Germain, an electrical engineer who had headed NOAA’s weather satellite activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPalgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
VolumePart F1542
ISSN (Print)2730-972X
ISSN (Electronic)2730-9738


  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Joseph (Joe) Biden
  • Karen St. Germain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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