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NOAA-19

NOAA-19

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NOAA-19, designated NOAA-N' (NOAA-N Prime) prior to launch, is the last of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , pronounced , like "noah", is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere...

's POES
Polar Operational Environmental Satellites
The Polar Operational Environmental Satellite project operates a constellation of weather satellites in polar orbits around the Earth. It is a joint effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites...

 series of weather satellites (which was scheduled to be replaced by the next-generation NPOESS
NPOESS
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System was to be the United States' next-generation satellite system that would monitor the Earth's weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. NPOESS satellites were to host proven technologies and operational...

 series before the NPOESS
NPOESS
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System was to be the United States' next-generation satellite system that would monitor the Earth's weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. NPOESS satellites were to host proven technologies and operational...

 project was cancelled). NOAA-19 was launched on 6 February 2009.

Launch


On 4 November 2008, NASA announced that the satellite had arrived at Vandenberg aboard a C-5 Galaxy
C-5 Galaxy
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It provides the United States Air Force with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize cargos, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many...

 military transport aircraft. Installation of the payload fairing took place 27 January 2009; second stage propellant was loaded on 31 January.

Several attempts were made to conduct the launch. The first attempt was scrubbed after a failure was detected in a launch pad
Launch pad
A launch pad is the area and facilities where rockets or spacecraft lift off. A spaceport can contain one or many launch pads. A typical launch pad consists of the service and umbilical structures. The service structure provides an access platform to inspect the launch vehicle prior to launch....

 gaseous nitrogen pressurization system. The second attempt was scrubbed after the failure of a payload fairing air conditioning compressor, which is also part of the ground support equipment
Ground Support Equipment
Ground support equipment is the support equipment found at an airport, usually on the ramp, the servicing area by the terminal. This equipment is used to service the aircraft between flights. As its name implies, GSE is there to support the operations of aircraft on the ground...

 at the launch pad.

The satellite was successfully launched aboard a Delta II
Delta II
Delta II was an American space launch system, originally designed and built by McDonnell Douglas. Delta II is part of the Delta rocket family and was in service from 1989 until November 1, 2011...

 flying in the 7320 configuration from Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northwest of Lompoc, California. It is under the jurisdiction of the 30th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command ....

.

Instruments


NOAA-N Prime carries a suite of instruments that provides data for weather and climate predictions. Like its predecessors, NOAA-N Prime provides global images of clouds and surface features and vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity for use in numerical weather and ocean forecast models, as well as data on ozone distribution in the upper part of the atmosphere, and near-Earth space environments—information important for the marine, aviation, power generation, agriculture, and other communities. The NOAA-N Prime primary instruments —the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR/3), High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS/4), and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A)—were all designed for a three-year mission. The Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectral Radiometer (SBUV/2
SBUV/2
Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet RadiometerThe Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer, or SBUV/2, is a series of operational remote sensors on NOAA weather satellites which monitor the density and distribution of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere from six to 30 miles. SBUV/2 looks down at the Earth’s...

) was designed for a two-year mission, and the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS
MHS
MHS may refer to:*Air Memphis, and Egyptian airline that uses the ICAO-Code MHS*Malignant hyperthermia syndrome, a condition that is triggered by exposure to drugs used for general anaesthesia*Master of Health Science, a graduate degree program...

) was designed for a five-year mission.

Damage during manufacture


On September 6, 2003, the satellite was badly damaged while being worked on at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the four major business divisions of Lockheed Martin. It is headquartered in Denver, Colorado with additional sites in Sunnyvale, California; Newtown, Pennsylvania; Huntsville, Alabama; and elsewhere in the US and UK...

 factory in Sunnyvale, California
Sunnyvale, California
Sunnyvale is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is one of the major cities that make up the Silicon Valley located in the San Francisco Bay Area...

. The satellite fell to the floor as a team was turning it into a horizontal position. A NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

inquiry into the mishap determined that it was caused by a lack of procedural discipline throughout the facility. While the turn-over cart used during the procedure was in storage, a technician removed twenty-four bolts securing an adapter plate to it without documenting the action. The team subsequently using the cart to turn the satellite failed to check the bolts before attempting to move the satellite. Repairs to the satellite cost $135 million; Lockheed Martin took a $30 million charge relating to the incident, after agreeing to forfeit all profit for the project

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