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Ball Aerospace Celebrates Suomi NPP One Year Anniversary

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite built for NASA, marked one year on orbit, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/LA08510)

Suomi NPP is the bridge to the next-generation U.S. civil polar-orbiting Earth-observation satellite system. It provides continuity of critical observations for accurate weather forecasting, reliable severe storm outlooks, global measurements of atmospheric and oceanic conditions such as sea surface temperatures, ozone, and more.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses the satellite data in models for medium- and long-term weather forecasting. Suomi NPP will also improve and extend climate measurements for 30 different environmental data records of the atmosphere, land, ocean, climate, and space environment.

Under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace built the Suomi NPP satellite, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument aboard the satellite, integrated all five of the spacecraft's instruments, and conducted satellite testing prior to launch.  Ball Aerospace is now building the successor to Suomi NPP, the JPSS-1satellite and its OMPS instrument for a 2017 launch. JPSS satellites are being developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"The Ball-built Suomi NPP satellite is delivering critical weather forecasting information as well as the data needed for technological and scientific advancement in climate and oceanographic science," said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace.  "Ball's expertise is now being leveraged for JPSS-1 to ensure these vital global observations continue uninterrupted."

Suomi NPP was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base into a sun-synchronous orbit, producing coverage of nearly the entire Earth with 14 orbits per day.  Suomi NPP orbits Earth every 102 minutes, and to date has completed more than 5,000 orbits capturing data from the Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere.

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