SMG and Space Program Mission, History, and Information
|SMG Mission Statement
The Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) provides unique world-class weather support to
the US Human Spaceflight effort by: 1) providing
weather forecasts and briefings to NASA personnel; 2) providing pre
and post spaceflight weather analyses and documentation; 3)
advising the JSC community of adverse weather impacting the
JSC complex; 4) serving as meteorological consultants to the JSC community for current and
future spaceflight endeavors; 5) developing tools and techniques to enhance SMG's weather
support and to improve the science of meteorology. SMG strives for quality, accuracy,
timeliness, customer satisfaction, and safety.
SMG Weather Support Mission Summaries
SMG pre-mission and post-mission summaries are written by the lead weather forecaster
for each Space Shuttle mission. The pre-mission summary is normally published 3 to 4 weeks
before a launch and will include the STS mission number, the expected launch and landing
dates, the name of the orbiter, and the Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) sites that will
be possible. The pre- mission summary may also include information about the crew, payloads
(especially weather-sensitive payloads), any significant changes to weather Flight Rules,
and use of new data or technology by SMG forecasters.
The post-mission summary will briefly describe the launch/RTLS, TAL, and landing
weather. It is usually available within 3 weeks after landing. Occasionally other NASA
operations such as the X-38 project will also be included here as separate mission
The National Weather Service (known as the Weather Bureau before 1970), has provided
direct weather support to NASA for the Mercury, Gemini,
Apollo, Space Shuttle, and other programs. When the Manned Space Center
opened in Houston in 1962, a contingent of the Weather Bureau also came to Houston to
provide spacecraft recovery weather support. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Spaceflight
Meteorology "Branch" (SMB) of the Weather Bureau consisted of offices at Johnson
Space Center in Houston, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and at Weather Bureau offices in Miami,
Honolulu, and Washington DC. In the late 1970s, NASA allowed each center to select their
weather support structures. At that time, KSC opted to use the USAF for weather support.
JSC opted to retain the National Weather Service for weather support services.
Read about weather support for: