spacecraft, a polar-orbiting operational earth observation satellite,
is being prepared for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on
June 24, 2002. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale
built NOAA-M, and a Titan II space launch vehicle, provided under
contract to the U.S. Air Force by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in
Denver, will carry the satellite into orbit.

NOAA-M is the latest in the Advanced TIROS-N (ATN) satellite
series. All have been designed and built for the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by Lockheed Martin companies since
the first Television and Infrared Observational Satellite (TIROS)
weather satellite launch in April 1960. Most of the spacecraft in the
series have operated far longer than originally expected, earning them
a reputation as the workhorse of the civil space Earth-imaging

“This team has been totally dedicated to providing NASA and NOAA
with satellites to extend NOAA’s ability to forecast the weather,”
says Al Lauer, director of Low Earth Orbit Meteorological Programs for
Space Systems-Sunnyvale. “NOAA-M will be the third Polar Operational
Environmental Satellite (POES) spacecraft launched in the fifth decade
of this program. Our long-standing partnership with our NASA and NOAA
customers is a source of genuine pride for Lockheed Martin.”

A constellation consists of two POES satellites circling the
planet in nearly north-south orbits. As the Earth rotates, the entire
globe, one swath at a time rolls into view of the satellites’
instruments. The instruments are continually sensing the entire depth
of the atmosphere and report on the following weather generating

— Atmosphere Temperatures and Moisture Soundings

— Sea-surface Temperatures

— Land-surface Temperatures

— Cloud Cover and Heights

— Precipitable Moisture

— Total Ozone

— Clear Radiance

— Incoming and Radiated Heat

Together these data comprise irreplaceable inputs to the numerical
weather forecast model and are vital to medium and long-range
forecasting. Separately or in combination, the data are utilized to
produce sea-surface temperature maps, ice condition charts, snow cover
analysis, vegetation maps and other forecasting and management tools.

Additionally, NOAA-M carries an enhanced complement of microwave
instruments for the generation of temperature, moisture, surface, and
hydrological products in cloudy regions where visible and infrared
instruments have decreased capability. NOAA-M also carries search and
rescue instruments that are used internationally for locating ships,
aircraft, and people in distress. The use of satellites in search and
rescue has been instrumental in saving more than 13,000 lives since
the inception of the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking
(SARSAT) system.

The NOAA-M satellite will operate in a circular, near-polar orbit
of 450 nautical miles above the Earth with an inclination angle of
98.7465 degrees to the equator. Its orbital period, which is the time
it takes to complete one orbit of the Earth, will be approximately
101.35 minutes.

The NOAA-M orbit is Sun-synchronous, rotating eastward about the
Earth’s polar axis 0.986 degrees each day, approximately the same rate
and direction as the Earth’s average daily rotation about the Sun. The
rotation keeps the satellite in a constant position with reference to
the Sun for constant scene illumination throughout the year.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md., is
responsible for the procurement, development, launch services, and
verification testing of the spacecraft, instruments, and unique ground
equipment. Following deployment of the spacecraft from the launch
vehicle, Goddard is responsible for the mission operation phase
leading to injection of the satellite into orbit and initial in-orbit
satellite checkout and evaluation.

Following the launch and a comprehensive on-orbit verification
period that lasts 45 days, NASA will turn operational control of the
satellites over to NOAA. NOAA will operate the satellites from the
Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Md., along with the
nation’s other environmental satellites that it operates.

NOAA’s environmental satellite system is composed of two types of
satellites: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)
for national, regional, short-range warning and “now-casting”; and
Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) for global,
long-term forecasting and environmental monitoring. Both GOES and POES
are necessary for providing a complete global weather monitoring
system. Both also carry search and rescue instruments to relay signals
from people in distress.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major
operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs,
develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced
technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief
products include a full-range of space launch systems, including
heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and
communications satellites for commercial and government customers,
advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet
ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

NOTE TO EDITORS: High and low resolution images of the NOAA-M can
be found at:

For more information about Lockheed Martin Space
Systems-Sunnyvale, see our website at