Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

California launch of new USA weather satellite postponed

California launch of new USA weather satellite postponed

Operating in polar orbit, the satellite is created to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather three to seven days out.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, the first in a new series of highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, is scheduled to lift off November 10, at 1:47 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. "The rocket is in a safe condition, the spacecraft, JPSS-1, is in a safe condition".

Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 satellite bus, and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, integrated all five of the spacecraft's instruments and performed satellite-level testing and launch support. "For the better part of a decade, scientists and policymakers have been very concerned about a gap in polar-orbiting satellite coverage of the Earth due to delays in launching JPSS-1 and the obvious aging or potential failure of older birds in orbit", according to Maue. "The JPSS satellite system will provide advanced forecasting on not only hurricanes, but also unsafe weather events threatening communities across the United States". The mission is a joint effort between NOAA and NASA. "The Flight 2 development, build and test have proceeded smoothly and follow the success of the Flight 1 instrument for NPOESS Preparatory Project". Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder.

The combination of CrIS and ATMS data collection will produce global high-resolution 3-D maps of atmospheric temperature, pressure and moisture profiles for weather forecasting, continental transportation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and will aid in our understanding of climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña.

A scheduled early morning launch of a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base was a no-go. It will be mounted atop the first stage of the rocket, seen on the left, as preparations continue for the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1.

The launch will take place at 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California.

"The launch of JPSS-1 continues the strong, decades-long partnership between NOAA and NASA in developing state-of-the-art Earth observation satellites", said Sandra Smalley, director of NASA's Joint Agency Satellite Division.

The Delta II rocket has been the workhorse of ULA since it was first launched in February 1989.

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