NEW ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITE SET TO LAUNCH SEPTEMBER 20

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  1. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Cynthia M. O'Carroll September 18, 2000
    NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

    Patricia Viets
    NOAA/NESDIS


    John Leslie
    National Weather Service

    RELEASE NO: 00-85


    NEW ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITE SET TO LAUNCH SEPTEMBER 20

    A new environmental satellite that will improve weather
    forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world is
    poised to launch Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's NOAA-L spacecraft
    is scheduled to lift off aboard an Air Force Titan II launch vehicle
    on November 20 at 6:22 a.m. EDT (3:22 a.m. PDT). The launch window
    extends for approximately 10 minutes.

    The NOAA-L satellite NOAA-L is the second in a series of five
    Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) with improved
    imaging and sounding capabilities that will operate over the next 12
    years. Like other NOAA satellites, NOAA-L will collect meteorological
    data and transmit the information to users around the world to
    enhance weather forecasting. The data will be used primarily by
    NOAA's National Weather Service for its long-range weather and
    climate forecasts.

    The satellite will continue the support of the international
    COSPAS-SARSAT system by providing search and rescue capabilities
    essential for detection and location of ships, aircraft, and people
    in distress.

    The polar-orbiting satellites monitor the entire Earth, tracking
    atmospheric variables and providing atmospheric data and cloud
    images. They track global weather patterns affecting the weather and
    climate of the United States. The satellites provide visible and
    infrared radiometer data for imaging purposes, radiation
    measurements, and temperature and moisture profiles. The polar
    orbiters' ultraviolet sensors also measure ozone levels in the
    atmosphere and are able to detect the ozone hole over Antarctica from
    mid-September to mid-November. Each day, these satellites send
    global measurements to NOAA's Command and Data Acquisition station
    computers, adding vital information to forecasting models, especially
    over the oceans, where conventional data is lacking.

    NOAA's environmental satellite system is composed of two types
    of satellites: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites
    (GOES) for national, regional, short-range warning and "now-casting;"
    and the polar-orbiting satellites for global, long-term forecasting
    and environmental monitoring. Both GOES and POES are necessary for
    providing a complete global weather monitoring system. Both also
    carry search and rescue instruments to relay signals from aviators
    and mariners in distress. These satellites are operated by NOAA's
    National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service in
    Suitland, Md.

    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is
    responsible for the construction, integration, launch and
    verification testing of the spacecraft, instruments and unique ground
    equipment. Kennedy Space Center serves as the point of contact
    between the U.S. Air Force and NOAA for spacecraft integration
    requirements with the Titan II launch vehicle. On launch day, KSC
    will serve as the NASA Mission Director through which launch
    readiness and the final NOAA-L "go for launch" will be conveyed to
    the Air Force launch director.

    NASA turns operational control of the NOAA-L spacecraft over to
    NOAA 10 days after launch. NASA's comprehensive on-orbit verification
    period is expected to last until approximately 45 days after launch.
    Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., built the
    spacecraft, under contract to Goddard. The scientific instruments
    were built by ITT Industries, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Aerojet Gencorp,
    Azusa, Calif.; Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.;
    and Panametrics, Inc., Waltham, Mass.

    Data from the NOAA spacecraft are used by researchers within
    NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research program
    designed to study Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as a
    total integrated system. In addition, this data is helping NASA
    scientists design instruments for follow-on missions.

    For more information about NOAA-L and the polar orbiting
    satellites, see the following web sites: http://poes.gsfc.nasa.gov http://www2.ncdc.noaa.gov/docs/intro.htm http://www.osd.noaa.gov/sats/poes.htm


    Editors Note: The NOAA L pre-launch news conference will be held on
    Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT). NASA Television will
    carry the pre-launch news conference live. A complete NOAA-L video
    package will be broadcast during the NASA TV Video File on Sept. 19
    at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight EDT. On launch day,
    Sept. 20, NASA TV coverage of the countdown will begin at 5:30 a.m.
    EDT (2:30 a.m. PDT). It will conclude after spacecraft separation
    from the Titan II occurring about 16 minutes after launch.

    NASA Television is carried on GE-2, transponder 9C located at 85
    degrees West longitude. Audio only will be available on two "V"


    A Webcast of the NOAA-L launch will also be available on the
    NASA-KSC Home Page at www.ksc.nasa.gov. (Select KSC Live Video Feeds
    followed by NASA TV coverage.)

    ------------------
    It's all very large.
     
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