NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) Spacecraft


NPP Launch Arc
NASA – On Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, an arc of light illuminates the pre-dawn sky at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., as a Delta II rocket launches with the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft payload. NPP carries five science instruments, including four new state-of-the-art sensors, which will provide critical data to help scientists understand the dynamics of long-term climate patterns and help meteorologists improve short-term weather forecasts. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NPP Being Readied for Launch
The Delta II rocket with it’s NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft payload is seen as the service structure is rolled back on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. NPP is the first NASA satellite mission to address the challenge of acquiring a wide range of land, ocean, and atmospheric measurements for Earth system science while simultaneously preparing to address operational requirements for weather forecasting. NPP is scheduled to launch early Friday morning. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NPP satellite
Over the last decade NASA launched a series of satellites that offer an unparalleled view of Earth from space. That series, known collectively as NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS), has provided striking new insights into many aspects of Earth, including its clouds, oceans, vegetation, ice, and atmosphere. However, as the EOS satellites age, a new generation of Earth-observing satellites are poised to take over.

The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) represents a critical first step in building this next-generation satellite system. Goddard Space Flight Center is leading NASA’s effort to launch a satellite that will carry the first of the new sensors developed for this next-generation system, previously called the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and now the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS).

NPP will orbit the Earth about 14 times each day and observe nearly the entire surface.

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