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White Press Office Feed

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The following excerpt is from the NASA website:

“GREENBELT, Md. -- 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."

With the completion of commissioning activities, operation of the
Suomi NPP has now been turned over to a Joint Polar Satellite System
(JPSS) team. NOAA's JPSS Program provided three of the five
instruments and the ground segment for Suomi NPP. A government team
from the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md., will
operate the satellite.

"NOAA is thrilled with the performance of Suomi NPP," said Mary Kicza,
assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service
in Silver Spring, Md. "NOAA will be using the advanced data NPP
provides to improve life-saving weather forecasts and track volcanic
eruptions, and to improve our understanding of long-term weather and
climate patterns. Suomi NPP is an important mission for the nation."

The Suomi NPP mission is a bridge between NOAA and NASA legacy Earth
observing missions and NOAA's next-generation JPSS. Suomi NPP flies
for the first time the groundbreaking new Earth observing instruments
that JPSS will use operationally. The first satellite in the JPSS
series, JPSS-1, is targeted for launch in 2016.

NASA scientists have already begun creating consistent, multi-decade
Earth science data sets by combining the new NPP observations with
measurements from many of the legacy NASA and NOAA missions. These
long-term observations are critical to improving our understanding of
the Earth system and quantifying any changes.

"With the successful completion of commissioning, Suomi NPP is now
ready to provide the world with remarkable Earth observations," said
Ken Schwer, NPP project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
in Greenbelt, Md.

Goddard managed the Suomi NPP mission for the Science Mission
Directorate's Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in