JPSS 1 weather satellite deploys from Delta 2 rocket

High-Tech Weather Satellite to Launch Early Saturday After Delays: Watch Live

An advanced USA weather satellite created to improve the accuracy of extended forecasts has been launched into polar orbit from California.

It's the first in a series of four next-generation US weather satellites.

Its similarly polar-orbiting predecessor, Suomi NPP, was intended as a test of the technology involved in JPSS-1's construction but has since become a valuable meteorological tool.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:47 a.m. PST Saturday atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket. The more-detailed observations from JPSS will allow forecasters to make more accurate predictions. The satellite system will assist in weather forecasting and assessing environmental hazards, according to a press release.

Officials have said the mission, including launch and satellite costs, add up to $1.6 billion.

Another instrument, the Harris-built Cross-track Infrared Sounder, or CrIS, will have 2,200 measurements compared to 19 channels for the older system. "Such forecasts are impossible without quality robust global data that's provided from polar satellites, and JPSS-1 is joining that network of satellites that provides these observations that are the backbone of forecast process".

The launch was rescheduled for November 14 but scrubbed just a few minutes before scheduled liftoff due to technical issues. The JPSS-1 vehicle has the maximum nine boosters, only six of which will be ignited at launch (ground lit.) These will burn out and be discarded early in the flight while the remaining three SRB's, which have nozzles optimized for high-altitude as they operate mostly in a near-vacuum during the flight profile, are ignited during flight (air lit) and continue accelerating the rocket. The launch window is just 66 seconds. The booster for this mission was powered by the RS-27A engine and the second stage was powered by the AJ10-118K engine. This is the penultimate launch of the Delta II rocket, first launching in 1989 with 154 launches to date. "After nearly 3 years since our last Delta II mission, it was great to see it flying and delivering mission success for our customers once again".

A live stream of the launch will be available on the United Launch Alliance website starting at 1:15 a.m. ULA has successfully delivered more than 120 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field and enable personal device-based GPS navigation.

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