In 1994, the Clinton’s administration approved a $6.5 billion project for improving the Polar-orbiting satellite system that would be used for the military, weather forecasters and climate researches. TheNational Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) was the solution that best fitted this project and that apparently was within the budget designated for this program but technical and administrative problems had pushed the estimated cost to nearly $14 billion according to the Pentagon’s latest estimation. The NPOESS would include 14 sensors onto six satellites with the main purpose of monitoring global environmental conditions, and collecting and disseminate data related to: weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. The polar orbiting provides an observational platform for the entire planet surface in which satellites would be able to circle the glove every 100 minutes.
Refernce: Kintish Eli (2006) Stormy Skies for Polar Satellite Program. Science, pp1296-1297