The launch of the NOAA-L polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aboard a U.S. Air Force Titan II rocket is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Liftoff will be from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 4W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The ten-minute launch window extends from 3:22 – 3:32 a.m. PDT.

The NOAA-L satellite will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world. NOAA-L is the second in the current series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities that will operate over the next 12 years. NOAA-L will collect meteorological data and transmit the information to NOAA’s National Weather Service for its long-range weather and climate forecasts. Users around the world will also be able to access the satellite’s images and data.


News media requesting accreditation for the launch of NOAA-L should fax their request on news organization letterhead to:

Staff Sgt. Rebecca Bonilla
30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
FAX: 805/606-8303

For further information on launch accreditation, the USAF Public Affairs Office can be reached at 805/606-3595.


The prelaunch news conference will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. PDT in the main conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, Building 840. Participants will be:

  • Mike Mignogno, Program Manager, Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite, NOAA
  • Major Dave Salm, Air Force Titan II Launch Director, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
  • Chuck Dovale, NASA Mission Director, Kennedy Space Center, FL
  • Harry McCain, Program Manager, Polar Operational Environmental Satellites, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD

  • Dr. Christine Crosiar, Launch Weather Officer, 30th Weather Squadron, Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

Question and answer capability will be available from other participating NASA centers.

Media requesting to cover the prelaunch news conference should meet at the south gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California State Road 246 at 9:30 a.m. They will be escorted to the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office.

No post-launch news conference is scheduled.


Media desiring to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad will depart from the south gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, for SLC-4.


On launch day, Sept. 20, media covering the NOAA-L/Titan II launch should meet at the Vandenberg AFB south gate located on California State Road 1 at 2:30 a.m. to be escorted to the launch viewing location on north Vandenberg Air Force Base. After launch, media will be escorted back to the gate.


NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference live starting at 10 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, Sept. 19. On launch day, Sept. 20, NASA TV coverage of the countdown will begin at 2 a.m. PDT. It will conclude after spacecraft separation from the Titan II occurring about 16 minutes after launch.

A complete NOAA-L video package will be broadcast during the NASA TV Video File on Sept. 19 at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. PDT.

NASA Television is carried on GE-2, transponder 9C located at 85 degrees West longitude. Audio only will be available on two “V” circuit numbers that may be reached by dialing 321/867-1260 or -7135.

A Webcast of the NOAA-L launch will also be available on the NASA-KSC Home Page at . (Select KSC Live Video Feeds followed by NASA TV coverage.)


The NOAA-L News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed beginning Monday, Sept. 18. For further information at that time contact Bruce Buckingham at 805/605-3051. A recorded status report will also be available starting at that time by dialing 805/734-2693.

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