Military Weather Satellite Set for Wednesday Launch
A Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Block 5D-3 spacecraft, built under contract for the U.S. Air Force by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] is being prepared for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 15. A Titan II launch vehicle, also supplied by Lockheed Martin, will carry the weather satellite into orbit.
Within two hours of launch, the DMSP Early-Orbit Team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Operations Control Center in Suitland, Md., will begin checkout of the spacecraft. The procedures are scheduled to take about 14 days. An instrument checkout will follow, taking an additional two weeks. When the spacecraft is declared operational, the satellite will be turned over to the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Integrated Program Office.