NASA launching JPSS-1 weather satellite

Boulder's Ball Aerospace, NOAA primed for polar-orbiting satellite launch has been seven years in the planning

The booster will carry the first in a series of four satellites for the Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-1.

"Using polar satellite data, we have been able to provide emergency managers with more accurate forecasts, allowing them to pre-position equipment and resources days before a storm", said Louis Uccellini, director of the weather service.

The sophisticated satellite instrumentation will provide a six-time increased global observation with a 1214-foot (370-meter) resolution including oversample technology and reduced degradation as well as a Day-Night Band which is capable of seeing city lights at night.

Earth as seen from the Suomi-NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument on November 12, 2017.

The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace and involves a collaboration between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "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. Several duplicate satellites are in the pipeline in the decades ahead, he said.

Satellites like JPSS-1 are not responsible for the images typically shown on your nightly weather forecast or your phone's weather app, since most weather imagery comes from geostationary satellites, which orbit above a fixed point on the planet.

In its orbit, the satellite will pass over the equator about 14 times per day, and cover the globe twice every 24 hours.

When JPSS-1 reaches its planned orbit, it will spend approximately three months in a calibration and test phase. "This program started seven years ago".

The satellite, called JPSS-1, will provide meteorologists with a variety of observations, such as atmospheric temperature and moisture, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash and fire detection.

The JPSS-1 spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. "The JPSS satellite system will provide advanced forecasting on not only hurricanes, but also risky weather events threatening communities across the United States".

The ATMS instrument is the second flight model and is slated to fly on the first JPSS satellite in 2016. Over longer timescales, this data will help improve our understanding of climate patterns that influence the weather, such as El Nino and La Nina. It will also provide critical information on Earth's hydrologic cycle - the circular process of water vapor, clouds, and precipitation.

A scheduled early morning launch of a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base was a no-go.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, satellite - which will be invaluable for improving forecasting, detecting lost sailors, aiding firefighters, and other applications - is expected to blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:47 a.m. PT, or 4:47 a.m. ET, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.

The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II carrying the JPSS-1 mission for NASA and NOAA was scrubbed today due to a red range and a late launch vehicle alarm.

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