New weather satellite will help with natural disasters, local forecasts

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

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 is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA is launching a new satellite system created to significantly increase the accuracy of weather predictions across the globe. The Launch Configuration Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) measures the electromagnetic emissions and subjects it to expected electromagnetic radiation that the satellite would experience at the launch site. It will also allow researchers to anticipate other extreme weather events like hurricanes.

The satellite, called JPSS-1, will provide meteorologists with a variety of observations, such as atmospheric temperature and moisture, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash and fire detection. Each will circle the globe 14 times a day, 50 minutes apart and provide full, global observations for USA weather prediction.

Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 satellite bus, and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, integrated all five of the spacecraft's instruments and performed satellite-level testing and launch support.

The new satellite will be the most advanced polar-orbiting weather platform the USA has yet put to use, NOAA officials said, since it will carry upgraded instruments able to gather more weather information than ever before. "JPSS will continue this trend".

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According to Space.com, JPSS-1 is meant to build off the work of other NOAA satellites.

The ATMS instrument is the second flight model and is slated to fly on the first JPSS satellite in 2016.

The next launch attempt will be on Wednesday (Nov. 15) at 4:47 a.m. EST according to NASA's live blog of the launch. This interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of USA polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.

The launch of the Delta II rocket was scrubbed four minutes ahead of its scheduled liftoff at 1:47 a.m.

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