It's a Joint Effort
NOAA, NASA, and U.S. Air Force have come together in a joint effort to launch the DSCOVR satellite. After many years in storage, the DSCOVR satellite, formerly “Triana,” was deemed the best solution for NOAA to continue solar wind observations. NASA is refurbishing the satellite and its instruments, and the U.S. Air Force is overseeing the launch of DSCOVR, which will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Positioned to Monitor and Alert
The DSCOVR satellite will be stationed at the L1 orbit, located one million miles away from Earth. At this location, the satellite will be in the best position to monitor the constant stream of particles from the sun, known as solar wind, and provide warnings of approaching geomagnetic storms caused by solar wind about an hour before they reach Earth. This early warning will significantly help with preparedness.
Forecasting Geomagnetic Storms
The DSCOVR mission will support the NWS Space Weather Prediction Center to provide advanced warning forecasts of approaching geomagnetic storms. These early warnings will help prevent disruption to virtually every major public infrastructure system, including transportation systems, power grids, telecommunications and GPS. A National Research Council Report estimates recovering from the most extreme storms could cost $1 to $2 trillion and take up to a decade.
Follow the Countdown to Launch!
As the agency responsible for operational space weather forecasts and warnings, NOAA is the lead for DSCOVR data. NOAA and its partners are working to keep DSCOVR on schedule for a January 2015 launch in order to continue the critical observations of solar wind. Keep watch and learn more about solar wind, the DSCOVR satellite, and the upcoming launch by visiting the new DSCOVR webpage:http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR