Friday, February 06, 2009

Delta II Launches Weather Satellite from California

America's newest meteorological satellite received a ride into space early this morning, departing California aboard a Delta II rocket following a few days of delays.

The United Launch Alliance's Delta II lifted-off on time this morning at 2:22 am PST [5:22 am EST] from launch pad SLC-02 at Vandenberg, AFB in California [image above via VAFB]. Carrying NOAA's weather satellite - GOES-N - the Delta's upper stage will release the payload an hour later. A series of attitude firings and solar array deployments will then follow as it sets up for five years of polar orbital operations.

NOAA-N will follow in it's family history in taking the satellite pictures you view on your local news and the Weather Channel. It will also become a becon for tropical activity beginning this Summer forthe Pacific and Gulf of Mexico regions.

This April, a Delta IV will launch from here at the Cape and deliver the GOES-O weather satellite into a geostationary orbit around the equator.

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