NASA Reschedules NPOESS Weather Satellite Launch
[Satellite TODAY 10-20-11] NASA has pushed the launch of its National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPOESS) back by one day, the agency confirmed Oct. 19.
The $1.5 billion NPOESS satellite was originally scheduled to launch Oct. 27, but will now launch on Oct. 28 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The satellite is the first to measure both short- and long-term changes in weather and climate and will carry five instruments to study temperature and water in the atmosphere. The satellite also will study how clouds and aerosols affect temperature and how plants on land and in the ocean respond to environmental changes.
“This is really the first mission that is designed to provide observations for both weather forecasters and climate researchers,” NPOESS Project Scientist Jim Gleason said in a statement. “NPOESS’ observations will help scientists better predict the future environment and these prediction are incredibly valuable for economic, security and humanitarian reasons.”
The satellite is one of NASA’s 14 Earth observation missions that it is currently managing. The agency hopes NPP will operate for approximately five years.