The first
from space sent by NOAA-17, the country’s newest environmental
, was beamed to the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
today. Following its
textbook launch June 24 from Vandenberg
Air Force Base
, Calif., the new satellite is undergoing a
routine functions check before becoming fully operational. It’s
first image, showing cloud patterns over the Great Lakes area,
is available online.

Like other NOAA satellites, NOAA-17
will collect meteorological data and transmit the information
to users around the world to enhance weather forecasting. In
the United States, the data will be used primarily by NOAA’s
National Weather Service
for its long-range weather and climate

NOAA-17, named NOAA-M until reaching
Earth orbit, was built by Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Co.
, Sunnyvale, Calif., and launched
for NOAA under technical guidance and project management by NASA’s
Goddard Space Flight Center.
NASA will turn operational
control of the NOAA-17 spacecraft over to NOAA 21 days after
launch. NASA’s comprehensive on-orbit verification period is
expected to last until approximately 45 days after launch.

National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
is the nation’s primary source of space-based
meteorological and climate data. NOAA Satellite and Data Service
operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used
for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental
applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring, and sea
surface temperature measurements. NOAA Satellite and Data Service
also operates three data
, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography,
solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial
physics, and paleoclimatology.

To learn more about NOAA Satellite
and Data Service, please visit

For more information about NOAA-17
and the polar orbiting satellites, see
For NOAA-17’s first image, go to