NOAA Launches Its Newest Polar-Orbiting Satellite
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) successfully launched its newest polar-orbiting weather satellite Sept. 21 from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Titan 2 rocket.
NOAA L is the second in a series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities that will operate during the next 12 years. It is part of the fourth generation of NOAA polar-orbiting weather satellites. It will report atmospheric temperature and moisture soundings, sea surface and land surface temperatures, cloud cover and heights, precipitable moisture, total ozone, clear radiance and incoming and radiated heat.
The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. [LMT] in Sunnyvale, Calif., and launched by NOAA under the technical direction and project management of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Lockheed Martin Space Systems also built the Titan 2 launcher.
NASA will turn operational control over to NOAA after 10 days, although its on-orbit testing and verification program is expected to last 45 days after the launch.