3/19/2014 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance(ULA) team have successfully moved one step closer to the launching of the 19th Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) block 5D weather satellite. On March 14, engineers completed spacecraft encapsulation within the launch fairing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The DMSP-19 encapsulation within the Atlas V launch vehicle payload
fairing represents an important milestone for the DMSP-19 launch
campaign. This event marks the completion of spacecraft integration,
functional testing and compatibility checks with the Air Force Satellite
Control Network (AFSCN).
The final phase of the DMSP-19 launch integration process is set to take
place. The encapsulated payload will be carried on a transporter to the
launch pad. Once at the launch pad, the payload fairing assembly will
be lifted and integrated onto the 57 meter tall Atlas V launch vehicle.
The Atlas is developed by ULA, headquartered in Denver, Colo.
DMSP-19 is scheduled to launch on April 3, 2014. This will be the second
time a DMSP satellite is launched with an Atlas V rocket.
For the past 50 years, the DMSP satellites have been the primary
provider of terrestrial and space weather information to the US
military. DMSP satellites have fulfilled the military's most critical
requirements for global atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial, and space
environment information. DMSP sensors provide imagery in visible,
infrared and microwave bands to enhance information available to the
warfighter. Through these satellites, military users find, track and
forecast weather systems over remote and hostile areas for deployed
The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located
at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of
acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space
systems. Its portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications,
defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems,
satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space
situational awareness capabilities.