California launch of new USA weather satellite postponed

15 November, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Boulder's Ball Aerospace, NOAA primed for polar-orbiting satellite launch has been seven years in the planning

The timeframe to fire off the Delta II rocket is so short, just 66 seconds, the launch team did not have enough time to figure out a solution to move forward with the launch.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite, or JPSS-1, was set to launch into a polar orbit around Earth at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT) to begin measuring atmospheric temperature, moisture, ozone levels, vegetation and rainfall across the globe with five advanced instruments.

The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace and involves a collaboration between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While a geostationary satellite stays in one spot and frequently sends forecasters a picture of what's happening on earth, a polar satellite, like JPSS-1, zooms around and sends more detailed snapshots, just twice a day.

"It's always exciting to launch a satellite", Asbury said Friday.

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

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The JPSS-1 spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo.

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

The new satellite will be the most advanced polar-orbiting weather platform the USA has yet put to use, NOAA officials said, since it will carry upgraded instruments able to gather more weather information than ever before.

"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 series of four JPSS satellites are expected to span 20 years.

An aircraft forced a scrub of an Orbital ATK Antares 230 rocket at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on November 11 with two boats drawing similar concerns during the second launch attempt 24 hours later.

The launch of the Delta 2 rocket has been rescheduled for Wednesday, at 1:47 a.m. PST. This interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of US polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.

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