NASA is set to launch the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES), another critical link in the development of a global Earth-observation program.
The spacecraft, NOAA-N, will lift off at 6:22 a.m. EDT, May 11, 2005, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. "The NOAA-N satellite is key to establishing a strong Global Earth Observation System of Systems, because it will strengthen our understanding about what the environment around the world is doing, not just here in the U.S.," said Gregory Withee, assistant administrator for NOAAs Satellite and Information Service. "From monitoring the ash clouds of Mount St. Helens, to bolstering the U.S. search and rescue network, NOAA-N will be the link in our continued success," he added.
NOAA-N will replace NOAA-16, in operation since September 2000, and join NOAA-17, launched in June 2002. Once in orbit, NOAA-N will be renamed NOAA-18. NOAA maintains a constellation of two primary polar-orbiting satellites. The global data from these satellites are used extensively in NOAAs weather and climate prediction models.
Erica Hupp | EurekAlert!
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