NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) teamed up on the civilian program, which is called the Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS. NPP will help make JPSS a reality, researchers said.
"NPP will lay the groundwork for the JPSS system, by proving out the capabilities and technologies of both the instruments and the ground system," Carson said. "NPP is a critical first step in creating a climate-capable operational system."
NPP is designed to last for at least five years, so it should be able to deliver data until JPSS becomes operational. The first JPSS satellite is due to launch in late 2016, officials said.
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