The next Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellite built by Lockheed Martin is ready for liftoff April 3 from Space Launch Complex 3 East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The launch window will open at 7:46 a.m. PDT.
DMSP satellites collect data that enables military forecasters to find, track and forecast weather systems all over the globe, particularly in remote and hostile areas for deployed troops. Additionally, DMSP supports a broad range of civil users with sensing capabilities not provided by U.S. civil and international weather satellite systems.
“We’ve delivered more than 40 DMSP satellites over 50 years, so this launch represents a long partnership in monitoring and predicting weather,” said Sue Stretch, DMSP program director at Lockheed Martin. “I congratulate the entire Air Force-industry team that designed, built and tested this satellite, which is ready to serve our military and civil users.”
DMSP satellites fulfill the country’s most critical requirements for global atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial and space environment information. Many of the satellites are performing beyond their design life, so adding on-orbit capability is important for reliable weather information.
The approaching launch is the first in five years for DMSP. The previous one was October 18, 2009, when DMSP-18 joined the constellation. The DMSP program is led by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., and control is provided by a joint team of the U.S. Air Force and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Suitland, Md. All DMSP satellites were integrated and tested at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.