In the predictions of NOAA's capabilities to predict hurricanes ? Excite News - Hurricane Center Chief Reassigned It's always been a cone of prediction at best anyways. If the hardware is old and needs replacement, so be it. Let's face it, if it fails, that's one less tool they have to use. How much they rely on it is anyone's guess, but if it's integral to tracking, and this writeup seems to suggest it blows away other forms of tracking, the man wasn't exaggerating. Especially, since it was sent up to replace one that did fail. science@nasa - Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) I can understand fiscal conservatism, but we are $ 1/2 trillion in debt from a war on terror, it seems kind of petty and foolish not to at least have a backup of this piece of hardware ready to launch into space ?