A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II rocket successfully launched the latest satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today.
The Delta II rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. , at 3:22 a.m. PDT carrying the NOAA-N Earth-observing satellite. Following a nominal 65-minute flight, the rocket deployed the spacecraft to a circular orbit with a Sun-synchronous inclination.
The satellite will collect data on Earth's atmosphere, surface and cloud cover for the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS).
"Satellites such as NOAA-N are critical to the continual monitoring and data collection of weather and surface activities here on Earth," said Dan Collins, vice president of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. "Our Delta team did an exceptional job preparing this important mission, marking our first West Coast launch this year."
The NOAA-N spacecraft is equipped with advanced instruments to provide improved weather forecasting and monitor environmental events worldwide. It is the fourth in the series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities. The satellite will collect and transmit meteorological data to NOAA's NESDIS for the National Weather Service. NOAA-N will also support the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System to monitor distress signals worldwide.
The two-stage Delta II launch vehicle used for today's mission featured a Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine, an Aerojet AJ10-118K second-stage engine, three Alliant Techsystems solid rocket motors, and a 10-foot diameter composite payload fairing.
NOAA-N was launched on behalf of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Polar Operational Environmental Satellite program. The spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
The next Delta launch will either be the GPS IIR-14 mission aboard a Delta II rocket or the GOES-N mission aboard a Delta IV rocket. Both are being assigned launch dates from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis , Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.