NOAA's new JPSS 1 weather satellite deployed from its Delta 2 launcher in an orbit more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth almost one hour after blasting off from California.
(Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, November 18, 2017) - A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket carrying the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) for NASA and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2 on Nov. 18 at 1:47 a.m. PST.
The rocket also carried five "CubeSats" which will conduct research related to in-space manufacturing.
After two second-stage engine burns and coast phases, the JPSS-1 weather satellite is deployed into orbit.
Officials have said the mission costs, including launch and satellite, add up to $1.6 billion.More news: Mobile offers Black Friday BOGO deals on six Android smartphones
"With such an active and extremely risky hurricane season we've recently encountered and the destructive wildfires we've seen around the planet, and particularly in California in the past year, JPSS-1 is arriving at just the right time", said Steve Volz, director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.
NASA and NOAA know that multi-day weather forecasts can be crucial to tracking hurricanes and their aftermath, and they're about to significantly boost the reliability of those forecasts.
JPSS-1's data should lead to improved storm forecasts as well as more accurate assessments of post-storm damage. It will help spot information about fires, oil spills, sea ice, floods, smoke and more. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder.
Global observations are critical because a small disturbance spotted in one area can hint of a hurricane a few days later. The JPSS program provides the nation's next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system, delivering key observations for the nation's essential projects and services, including forecasting weather in advance and assessing environmental hazards.