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NPP undergoes prelaunch tests in Colorado

The NPOESS Preparatory Project, the next U.S. weather satellite, is being tested before its scheduled launch in October 2011. The victim of numerous budget and technical problems, the NPP satellite is now back on track for a crucial mission monitoring the planet's weather and climate patterns.

These photos were taken in December at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo.

Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now