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Photos: NASA's Novel NPP Weather & Climate Satellite

NPP After Thermal Vacuum Testing

Ball Aerospace

Technicians inspect the nadir deck of the NPP spacecraft following thermal vacuum testing.

NPP's Delta 2 Rocket Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base

NASA/VAFB

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the first stage of a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket that will carry the NPP satellite into space is shown on its way from NASA Hangar 836 to NASA's Launch Complex-2.

NPP Satellite Takes Best Earth Photo Ever

NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

A 'Blue Marble' image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA's most recently launched Earth-observing satellite - Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on Jan. 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed 'Suomi NPP' on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.

NPP's Rocketdyne Engine

NASA/VAFB, Mark Mackley

The first stage of the Delta 2 rocket that will launch NASA's NPP satellite is lowered into place at the Space Launch Complex-2 on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Seen here in red is the Rocketdyne engine that will help loft the rocket off the pad.

Lifting a Solid Rocket Motor for NPP's Delta 2

NASA/VAFB, Dan Liberotti

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, technicians use a crane to lift a solid rocket motor for the Delta 2 rocket that will carry NASA's NPP satellite.

NPP's Solid Rocket Motor

NASA/VAFB, Dan Liberotti

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, technicians monitor the progress as a crane lifts a solid rocket motor into position for attachment to the Delta 2 rocket that will carry NASA's NPP satellite to orbit.

NPP's Solid Rocket Motor Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base

NASA/VAFB, Mark Mackley

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a solid rocket motor for the Delta 2 rocket that will carry NASA’s NPP satellite into space arrives at NASA’s Space Launch Complex-2.

NPP's Delta 2 on the Pad

NASA/VAFB

The third stage of NPP's Delta 2 rocket, with several solid rocket motors attached, sits on the pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NPP Satellite in the Fairing

NASA/Mark P. Mackley, VAFB

Technicians monitor the movement of a section of the clamshell-shaped Delta payload fairing as it encloses NASA’s NPP spacecraft at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NPP Delta 2 Rollback

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Delta II rocket with it's NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft payload is seen shortly after the service structure was rolled back on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. NPP is the first NASA satellite mission to address the challenge of acquiring a wide range of land, ocean, and atmospheric measurements for Earth system science while simultaneously preparing to address operational requirements for weather forecasting. NPP is scheduled to launch early Friday morning.

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Space.com Staff

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