Launch of Idaho's first satellite postponed

15 November, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Boulder's Ball Aerospace, NOAA primed for polar-orbiting satellite launch has been seven years in the planning

NASA is preparing to launch the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, satellite on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide essential data for timely and accurate weather forecasts and for tracking environmental events such as forest fires and droughts. "For the better part of a decade, scientists and policymakers have been very concerned about a gap in polar-orbiting satellite coverage of the Earth due to delays in launching JPSS-1 and the obvious aging or potential failure of older birds in orbit", according to Maue. 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.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, the first in a new series of highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, is scheduled to lift off November 10, at 1:47 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

While a geostationary satellite stays in one spot and frequently sends forecasters a picture of what's happening on earth, a polar satellite, like JPSS-1, zooms around and sends more detailed snapshots, just twice a day. It was created to be the functional equivalent follow-on to the Advanced Microwave Sounder Units with improved sampling and coverage.

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 US the benefit of two, sophisticated polar satellites in the same orbit.

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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. Once it's operational, it will be renamed NOAA-20. NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites for NOAA.

The delayed launch will take place early tomorrow morning at 4:47 A.M. EST. 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 interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of US polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.

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