New weather satellite scheduled to be launched on Tuesday

Lester Mason
November 14, 2017

The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket is set for blastoff at 1:47:02 a.m. PST (4:47:02 a.m. EST; 0947:02 GMT) Tuesday with the first spacecraft in NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System. Forecasters will be able to use the data to better predict weather events and hazards, such as a hurricane's track, and when a hurricane will intensify or weaken, as well as identifying power outages in addition to locating and evaluating damage following a storm.

"Having two advanced polar satellites in the same orbit will ensure our numerical weather models have the necessary, critical data to support forecasts up to seven days ahead of extreme weather events", said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.

The JPSS is the Nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. "JPSS will continue this trend", he added. - NASA, in partnership with the NOAA, scrubbed Tuesday's launch of a weather satellite that will help improve weather forecasts due to a last-minute technical problem.

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.

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. This would avoid a dreaded gap that could have adversely affected weather forecast accuracy in the U.S.

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

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

NOAA-20 is expected to be in orbit for ten years.

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