NOAA 2000-069
Contact: Pat Viets


A new NOAA satellite that will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world soared into space this morning during a picture-perfect launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The NOAA-L spacecraft lifted off on an Air Force-launched Titan II rocket.

Controllers successfully verified deployment of the solar array and a power positive condition on the satellite. NOAA-L is the second in a series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities that will operate over the next twelve years.

"We're extremely pleased with the success of the launch, and look forward to a successful mission for NOAA-L," said Mike Mignogno, NOAA's polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite manager.

Like other NOAA satellites, NOAA-L will collect meteorological data and transmit the information to users around the world to enhance weather forecasting. In the United States, the data will be used primarily by NOAA's National Weather Service for its long-range weather and climate forecasts.

NOAA-L was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., and launched for NOAA under technical guidance and project management by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA will turn 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.

For more information about NOAA-L and the polar orbiting satellites, see the
following Web sites: and