Thursday, March 15, 2012

Multi-agency satellite begins climate and weather studies

Space Daily: NASA has completed commissioning of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (NPP), which is now making global environmental observations. The satellite will provide scientists with critical insight into the dynamics of the entire Earth system, including climate, clouds, oceans, and vegetation. It will also gather enhanced data for improving our nation's weather forecasting system.

The mission, launched in October 2011, is the result of a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Defense. All five of the satellite's instruments now have been activated for science data collection.

"By providing cutting-edge measurements of important Earth system processes, the Suomi NPP mission will increase researchers' knowledge of our home planet, and provide direct societal benefit through more accurate predictions," said Michael Freilich, director, Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"This satellite mission, which could only have come to fruition through a close interagency partnership, is multifaceted and its data will be used by a multitude of stakeholders in the U.S. and worldwide."...

Ryan Zuber's illustration of the Suomi NPP Satellite, from NASA

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