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NOAA-19,[1] designated NOAA-N' (NOAA-N Prime) prior to launch, is the last of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's POES series of weather satellites (which is scheduled to be replaced by the next-generation NPOESS series). NOAA-19 was launched on 6 February 2009.

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Launch

On 4 November 2008, NASA announced that the satellite had arrived at Vandenberg aboard a C-5 Galaxy military transport aircraft.[2] Installation of the payload fairing took place 27 January 2009; second stage propellant was loaded on 31 January.[3]

Several attempts were made to conduct the launch.[4][5] The first attempt was scrubbed after a failure was detected in a launch pad gaseous nitrogen pressurization system. The second attempt was scrubbed after the failure of a payload fairing air conditioning compressor, which is also part of the ground support equipment at the launch pad.

The satellite was successfully launched aboard a Delta II flying in the 7320 configuration from Vandenberg Air Force Base[6] at 2:22AM PST (5:22AM EST, 10:22 GMT) on 6 February 2009.[7]

Damage during manufacture

On September 6, 2003, the satellite was badly damaged while being worked on at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems factory in Sunnyvale, California. The satellite fell to the floor as a team was turning it into a horizontal position. A NASA inquiry into the mishap determined that it was caused by a lack of procedural discipline throughout the facility. While the turn-over cart used during the procedure was in storage, a technician removed twenty-four bolts securing an adapter plate to it without documenting the action. The team subsequently using the cart to turn the satellite failed to check the bolts before attempting to move the satellite.[8] Lockheed Martin agreed to pay for repairs to the satellite out of profits it was to earn on the program.[9]

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External links

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