Rocket launch from VAFB scrubbed; pushed to Wednesday morning

Pablo Tucker
November 14, 2017

On Wed., Oct. 11, top officials from NOAA and NASA will preview the upcoming launch and mission of the Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-1, the first in a series of four advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites that will help improve the accuracy of weather forecasts out to seven days. JPSS 1 will go into orbit around 500 miles (800 kilometers) high and use five instruments to measure temperature and humidity in the atmosphere, solar radiation reflected off the Earth, ozone health, and other key data to aid weather forecasters.

"We're pretty excited about the launch", said Joe Pica, director of the weather service's office of operations, who added the spacecraft is created to last about seven years.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, the first in a new series of highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, is scheduled to lift off November 10, at 1:47 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Each will circle the globe 14 times a day, 50 minutes apart and provide full, global observations for USA weather prediction.


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will build and deliver the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) for the Joint Polar Satellite Systems (JPSS) under a contract with NASA.

With JPSS-1, the threat of a "satellite gap" due to aging satellite fleet should be allayed. "This program started seven years ago".

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


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.

In addition to detecting the global moisture and temperature levels, JPSS-1's CERES instrument will sense the heat given off by both the solar-reflective and Earth-emitted radiation from the full depth of the atmosphere (surface of the Earth to the thermosphere).

Another satellite overhead means more information for the models in-hand.


The launch had to be delayed because a "bad reading on the first stage of satellite's United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, as well as boats in the safety zone, forced NASA to call off the launch just minutes before liftoff", said a report by Space.com.

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