NPOESS

The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) was a joint program of the Air Force, NOAA, and NASA. Its polar-orbiting satellites were to provide long-term systematic measurements of key environmental variables for weather forecasting as well as climate studies. In February 2010, NPOESS was split into two programs. The Air Force-managed component will build satellites for the morning orbit, serving military needs. The NASA-managed civilian component, called the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), will build satellites to fly in afternoon orbits, and will be operated by NOAA. The first JPSS satellite will launch no sooner than 2015.