November 5, 2008
New Weather Satellite Moves Toward Launch
The latest polar-orbiting environmental weather satellite developed by the U.S. space agency has arrived in California for its scheduled Feb. 4 launch.
The satellite, called NOAA-N Prime, was produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The satellite is similar to NOAA-N that was launched in May 2005.
The satellite will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base by a United Launch Alliance two-stage Delta II rocket.
"NOAA-N Prime is the latest satellite in the Advanced Television Infrared Observational Satellites N series built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.," NASA said in a statement.
"NOAA-N Prime will provide a polar-orbiting platform to support environmental monitoring instruments for imaging and measuring the earth's atmosphere, its surface and cloud cover, including earth radiation, atmospheric ozone, aerosol distribution, sea surface temperature, vertical temperature and water profiles in the troposphere and stratosphere."
Officials said the satellite will also assist the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking system.
NOAA manages the polar-orbiting operational environmental weather satellite program, while NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the development and launch of NOAA satellites.