The booster will carry the first in a series of four satellites for the Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-1.
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.
Ball also built one of the five instruments on the spacecraft, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite. JPSS-1, which will be known as NOAA-20 when it reaches orbit, will join Suomi NPP, the joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite, giving the US the benefit of two, sophisticated polar satellites in the same orbit.
The new satellite will also deliver critical observations during severe weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards and is created to help improve forecasts three-to-seven days ahead of a severe weather event. Instruments aboard polar-orbiting satellites, like ones aboard JPSS-1 and its preceding spacecraft, known as the Suomi-NPP, obtain data on the winds and moisture in the upper atmosphere.
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Suomi NPP and JPSS-1 will have the same orbit, with JPSS-1 following Suomi NPP by about 50 minutes.
The ATMS instrument is the second flight model and is slated to fly on the first JPSS satellite in 2016. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder.
A first-of-its-kind weather satellite will have to wait at least 24 hours to begin its mission for NOAA and NASA after a rocket issue prevented an attempted liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California today (Nov. 14).
On April 11, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, a United Launch Alliance Delta II second stage is hoisted into the gantry at Space Launch Complex 2.
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Cloud properties can be determined using simultaneous data collection and measurements from other instruments such as VIIRS to gain a better understanding of the role that clouds play in the energy cycle as well as in global climate change.
The launch of the Delta 2 rocket has been rescheduled for Wednesday, at 1:47 a.m. PST.
"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. One more Delta 2 launch is planned in late 2018 before ULA retires the workhorse rocket.
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