NASA's third attempt held the launch of JPSS-1

Cesar Mills
November 19, 2017

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. The satellite was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket as scheduled at 1:47 am (0947 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"Emergency managers increasingly rely on our forecasts to make critical decisions and take appropriate action before a storm hits", said Louis W. Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. Four of them are part of a NASA educational program, and will test new technologies ranging from radiometric weather monitoring and the effects of space radiation on electronics to 3-D printing in space.

"Today's launch is the latest example of the strong relationship between NASA and NOAA, contributing to the advancement of scientific discovery and the improvement of the US weather forecasting capability by leveraging the unique vantage point of space to benefit and protect humankind", said Sandra Smalley, director of NASA's Joint Agency Satellite Division.

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Officials have said the mission costs, including launch and satellite, add up to $1.6 billion. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder.

The launch was rescheduled for November 14 but scrubbed just a few minutes before scheduled liftoff due to technical issues. The launch window is just 66 seconds. A short time later, five CubeSats that hitched a ride on the mission also deployed successfully. The JPSS-1 vehicle has the maximum nine boosters, only six of which will be ignited at launch (ground lit.) These will burn out and be discarded early in the flight while the remaining three SRB's, which have nozzles optimized for high-altitude as they operate mostly in a near-vacuum during the flight profile, are ignited during flight (air lit) and continue accelerating the rocket. The model is due to be retired next year after sending NASA's ICESat-2 satellite into orbit. The launch is scheduled for December 13 from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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