NASA launches latest Earth-observing satellite (AP)

This image provided by NASA shows the liftoff of the Delta II rocket with it's NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft payload is seen shortly after launch Friday, Oct. 28, 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. (AP Photo/NASA - Bill Ingalls)AP - After a years-long delay, an Earth-observing satellite blasted into space early Friday on a dual mission to improve weather forecasts and monitor climate change.

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