Satellites Helped Rescue 1,500 People in 2002

 - January 11, 2008, 4:27 AM

Weather satellites equipped to detect emergency locator transmitters helped rescue an estimated 1,500 sailors, hikers, downed pilots and others around the world last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its satellites, along with Russia’s Cospas satellites, form an international search-and-rescue system. NOAA said the 171 U.S. rescues last year included 133 people saved at sea, 27 in the Alaska wilderness and 11 from downed airplanes. The system is estimated to have saved 15,000 lives since it was launched in 1982, said NOAA officials.