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

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NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites for NOAA.

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.

JPSS-1, which will be known as NOAA-20 when it reaches polar orbit, will join the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP), a joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite, giving the USA the benefit of two, sophisticated polar satellites in the same orbit.

This next-generation weather satellite - known as Joint Polar Satellite System-1 - promises "a leap in data collection and quality equivalent to going from an old flip-phone to an iPhone X", said meteorologist Ryan Maue of weather.us, a meteorological firm.

ATMS will provide critical microwave data, including atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles, to support weather forecasting for the operational JPSS system.

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The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, spacecraft is checked out on October 8, 2015, at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado.

"The new JPSS satellite will join GOES-16 as we are confronting one of the most tragic hurricane seasons in the past decade", said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

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.

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. The CubeSat is the first of four planned as part of the JPSS series. Shortly after the postponement was revealed, Omar Baez Jr., a NASA senior launch director, confirmed that the plan was to retry the launch again at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday.

This illustration depicts the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, spacecraft created to provide forecasters with crucial environmental science data to provide a better understanding of changes in the Earth's weather, oceans and climate.

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