Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

NOAA's next-generation weather satellite JPSS-1 set to launch Tuesday

NOAA's next-generation weather satellite JPSS-1 set to launch Tuesday

The JPSS program is a partnership between NOAA and NASA that will oversee all the satellites in the series.

For years, policy makers and scientists anxious about a looming polar-orbiting satellite gap that could come once one satellite blinked out from old age, prior to the next one launching.

Maue said that without data from polar satellites, "weather forecasts would noticeably suffer leading to more forecast busts, wayward hurricane tracks and more difficulty in preparing for severe weather".

Several instruments aboard the satellite will provide detailed observations of temperature, air moisture, ice, snow, fog, wildfires, precipitation and ozone around the world.

The Delta II rocket's window to launch JPSS-1 into the correct orbit was just over a minute long.

Scott Asbury, program director at Ball Aerospace and formerly the JPSS-1 program manager, is among the roughly 10 Ball personnel who will be at the launch site, while about another 10 from Ball plan to be at the NASA satellite operations facility in Suitland, Md. "We are proud to contribute to NOAA's continued leadership in critical weather forecasting throughout the entire JPSS series". Raytheon Corporation built the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and the Common Ground System.

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The ATMS is the next generation of cross-track sounders that will provide a wealth of data and global observational information of the Earth's surface and atmosphere using microwaves.

NASA-TV will cover the launch live and can be viewed at www.nasa.gov/ntv, starting at 1:15 a.m. PST on November 10.

Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance booster aimed for 1:47 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-2.

Suomi NPP and JPSS-1 will have the same orbit, with JPSS-1 following Suomi NPP by about 50 minutes. "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 successful contract transition is an important milestone for the Joint Polar Satellite Systems, since ATMS is one of its key operational weather sensors", said Dr. Steve Toner, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Overhead Persistent Infrared and Azusa Programs business unit.

The event is for credentialed reporters only.

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