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Defense Weather Satellite Launch Sucessful

A Delta IV rocket launches at 5:53 a.m. on Nov. 4 from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-6. The rocket carried a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite in to space. The satellite will transition into a polar earth orbit to provide weather forcasts for servicemembers on battlefields around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

A Delta IV rocket launches at 5:53 a.m. on Nov. 4 from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-6. The rocket carried a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite in to space. The satellite will transition into a polar earth orbit to provide weather forcasts for servicemembers on battlefields around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- The Air Force successfully boosted another Weather satellite into orbit Nov. 4 from Vandenberg Air Force Base' s Space Launch Complex 6. The launch of Defense Meteorological Satellite Flight 17 occurred at 5:53 a.m. the beginning of the launch window. 

This is the latest launch of a Defense Meteorological Satellite since DMSP Flight 16 on October 18, 2003. Flight 17 will replace DMSP Flight 13 launched in March 1995. 

"The success of this launch continues the 40 plus year legacy of providing environmental support for both the military and civilian users. I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication to mission that I have witnessed, said Col. Bradley Smith, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Systems Group Commander. "I look forward to our continued efforts and to mission success as priority one." 

Two DMSP satellites operate in sun synchronous polar orbits at approximately 458 nautical miles above the earth. The satellite system uses the Operational Linescan System as its primary means of weather sensoring. 

These satellites and their accompanying data provide military and civilian weather forecasters necessary information to help in tracking existing weather systems, developing weather patterns, and serve as a warning system to civilian and military communities of impending hazards to people and resources. 

Development and acquisition of the DMSP satellite system is the responsibility of the Space and Missile Systems Center located at Los Angeles Air Force Base.