NOAA 2002-084
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The first image from space sent by NOAA-17, the country's newest environmental satellite, was beamed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today. Following its textbook launch June 24 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., the new satellite is undergoing a routine functions check before becoming fully operational. It's first image, showing cloud patterns over the Great Lakes area, is available online.

Like other NOAA satellites, NOAA-17 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-17, named NOAA-M until reaching Earth orbit, 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-17 spacecraft over to NOAA 21 days after launch. NASA's comprehensive on-orbit verification period is expected to last until approximately 45 days after launch.

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service is the nation's primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. NOAA Satellite and Data Service operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring, and sea surface temperature measurements. NOAA Satellite and Data Service also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology.

To learn more about NOAA Satellite and Data Service, please visit

For more information about NOAA-17 and the polar orbiting satellites, see and
For NOAA-17's first image, go to