Defense Weather Satellite Encapsulated for Launch

A Lockheed Martin-built Defense Meteorological Satellite Program block 5D weather satellite has been encapsulated into its payload fairing in preparation for an April 3 liftoff from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., announced company and Air Force officials. The milestone marks the completion of spacecraft integration, functional testing, and compatibility checks with the Air Force Satellite Control Network, according to a Space and Missile Systems Center release. “Weather guides some of the most important decisions in the armed forces, from flight patters to troop movements. Through DMSP, we’re hoping to provide safer, successful military missions,” said Sue Stretch, DMSP program director at Lockheed Martin. Using a sophisticated sensor suite, DMSP-19 can “capture visible and infrared cloud cover; measure precipitation, surface temperature, and soil moisture; and collect specialized global meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-geophysical information in all weather conditions,” states a Lockheed release.