Oct 22, 2011

NASA Readies to Launch Next-Gen Observation Satellite for Weather and Climate Change

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NASA sent out announcements today inviting the press to cover the launch of nation’s newest Earth-observing satellite at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md.

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and NOAA Deputy Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will be on hand to view the launch which is currently scheduled for the 28th of October.

Launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with a launch window from 5:48 AM to 5:57 AM local time, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP), “heralds a new era of climate change science and weather forecasting for the nation,” according to the statement from NASA.

NOAA has extended an invitation for the press come to the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility Suitland Federal Campus for a good vantage point to watch the launch.

NOAA currently operates 17 environmental satellites for the United States and other countries from its operations center. Once the launch is complete, the center will also monitor the NPP satellite.

Using the data streamed beck to Earth from the NPP, NOAA will be able to enhance its ability to continue issuing accurate forecasts and provide the world with advance warning for severe weather.

Looking to the future and the long-term impact and tracking of global climate change, the NPP, according to researchers, “represents a critical first step in preparing for the next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System that will collect data on long-term climate change and short-term weather conditions.”

More information about the launch, and the NPP program can be found on the NASA web site at: http://www.nasa.gov/npp