Vandenberg Launches NPP Weather Satellite

Airmen of the 30th Space Wing and their industry partners successfully launched NASA’s NPOESS Preparatory Project weather satellite into space aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket that lifted off from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. “Team Vandenberg did a phenomenal job ensuring a safe launch for this critical NASA mission,” said Col. Richard Boltz, 30th SW commander, in a Vandy release on the Oct. 28 mission. NPP is a leftover from the now-defunct NPOESS satellite program. At first conceived to validate technology that would go on subsequent NPOESS spacecraft, NPP has also taken on an operational gapfiller role for climate monitoring and weather observation from its polar orbit until the NASA-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System is available. NPP will “make America a more weather-ready nation,” said Mary Glackin, NOAA’s deputy undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere. (NASA’s NPP webpage)