Press Release

NPP Satellite Ready For Launch Oct. 27

By SpaceRef Editor
October 13, 2011
Filed under , , ,
NPP Satellite Ready For Launch Oct. 27

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The launch of the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27. Liftoff from NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif., is targeted during a nine-minute, 10 second launch window that opens at 2:48:01 a.m. PDT (5:48:01 a.m. EDT). The spacecraft’s final circular polar orbit will be 512 miles (824 kilometers) at an inclination of 98 degrees.

NPP, a NASA Earth-observing satellite, represents a critical first step in building the next-generation of U.S. polar-orbiting climate and weather monitoring spacecraft. NPP is the bridge between NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites and the forthcoming series of Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites. The mission will test key technologies and instruments for the JPSS missions.

The second of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNa, missions also will be launched on the Delta II. These auxiliary payloads are small satellites called CubeSats. Each is designed and created by university and college students. Five satellites will be deployed on ELaNa-2.


News media desiring accreditation for the prelaunch and launch activities of NPP should fax their requests on news organization letterhead to:

Austin Fallin
30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Telephone: 805-606-6159
FAX: 805-606-4571

Information required for U.S. media is full legal name, date of birth and media affiliation. A legal photo identification will be required upon arrival at Vandenberg.


Tuesday, Oct. 25: The prelaunch news conference will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. PDT (4 to 6 p.m. EDT) in the second floor conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, Building 840, at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television with question-and-answer capability available from other NASA field centers.

Media desiring to cover the event should meet at the south gate of VAFB on California State Road 246 at 12:30 p.m. to be escorted by 30th Space Wing Public Affairs to the news conference.

Participants in the prelaunch news conference will be:

Andrew Carson, NPP program executive
NASA Headquarters

Tim Dunn, NASA launch director
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA missions
United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colo.

Ken Schwer, NPP project manager
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Capt. Emili Weis, Launch Weather Officer, 30th Weather Squadron
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.


Immediately following the prelaunch news conference will be an NPP
mission science briefing. Presenting the mission science objectives
will be:

Jim Gleason, NPP project scientist
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Mitch Goldberg, chief, Satellite Meteorology and Climatology
NOAA Satellite and Information Service, Silver Spring, Md.

Immediately following the NPP mission science briefing will be an
ELaNa CubeSat briefing. Participating will be:

Jason Crusan, ELaNa program executive
Chief technologist for Space Operations, NASA Headquarters

Garrett Skrobot, ELaNa mission manager
NASA Launch Services Program, Kennedy Space Center


Wednesday, Oct. 26: Media desiring to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad should meet at the pass and identification building located at the Vandenberg main gate on California State Road 1 at 8:30 a.m. to be escorted to the launch pad.


Wednesday, Oct. 26: There will be an opportunity for the media to see and photograph the Delta II with NPP at the launch pad. This is planned to occur at approximately the time the mobile service tower is to be pulled away from the rocket. Media should be at the pass and identification building at the Vandenberg main gate on California State Road 1 at 3:45 p.m. Those wishing to attend should confirm their participation with Jeremy Eggers, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs office, at 805-606-3595.


Thursday, Oct. 27: Media covering the NPP launch aboard the Delta II rocket should meet at 2 a.m. at the Vandenberg main gate located on California State Road 1 to be escorted to the press viewing site. Press credentials and identification from a bona fide news organization will be required for access. A driver’s license alone will not be sufficient.

After launch, media will be escorted back to the main gate. Media interested in participating in a post-launch news conference with NPP spacecraft officials discussing the NPP spacecraft’s state of health will be escorted to NASA Building 840 on south Vandenberg. This event will begin at 5:30 a.m. PDT (8:30 a.m. EDT) and will be carried live on NASA Television.


NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing starting at 1 p.m. PDT (4 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The prelaunch news conference also will be webcast at:

On launch day, Oct. 27, NASA TV commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. PDT (3:01 a.m. EDT). Liftoff is targeted for 2:48:01 a.m. PDT (5:48:01 a.m. EDT). Spacecraft separation from the Delta II occurs 58 minutes, 45 seconds after launch.

For information on receiving NASA TV, go to:


To monitor audio of the prelaunch news conference and the launch coverage, dial the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed directly at 321-867-1220…. -1240….-1260. This audito is monitor only. “Mission Audio” of countdown activities without NASA launch commentary will be carried on 321-867-7135 beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT (3:01 a.m. EDT).


Launch coverage of the Delta II NPP countdown activities will be available on the NASA website by going to the home page at:

Live countdown coverage on NASA’s launch blog begins at 12:01 a.m. PDT (3:01 a.m. EDT). Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.

To access these features, go to NASA’s NPP mission website at:


The NPP and Delta II News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed beginning Oct. 18. To speak with a NASA communications specialist, call 805-605-3051. A recorded launch status report also will be available starting Oct. 20 by dialing 805-734-2693.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the project management of NPP. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., built the NPP satellite. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida provides launch management. United Launch Alliance of Denver, Colo., is NASA’s launch service provider of the Delta II 7920.

SpaceRef staff editor.