Rocket Issue Delays Launch of Advanced New JPSS-1 Weather Satellite

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

NASA says the rocket had only a 66-second launch window.

Liftoff for the $1.6 billion dollar mission of the Joint Polar Satellite System Program was scheduled for early Tuesday morning at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"It allows us to see smaller, better detail, smaller forest fires, know when they're starting and then allow, tell the decision makers and the responders how they need to respond and react", said Vanessa Griffin, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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"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.

JPSS-1 was set to launch into a polar orbit around Earth at 4:47 a.m. EST to join the current weather satellites and provide meteorologists with a variety of observations from space. "The JPSS satellite system will provide advanced forecasting on not only hurricanes, but also risky weather events threatening communities across the United States". "After it successfully clears the on-orbit test phase, NOAA-20 will become the nation's primary polar weather satellite and Suomi NPP will become its back up".

With JPSS-1, the threat of a "satellite gap" due to aging satellite fleet should be allayed. "JPSS will continue this trend". 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. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument.

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The launch of the Delta 2 rocket has been rescheduled for Wednesday, at 1:47 a.m. PST.

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.

Assuming that JPSS-1 launches successfully on Tuesday and functions normally in orbit, the USA will again have two working polar satellites at work at the same time.

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