NASA launching JPSS-1 weather satellite

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

Tuesday's launch window, which will be the same on Wednesday, was just 66 seconds.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite, or JPSS-1, was set to launch into a polar orbit around Earth at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT) to begin measuring atmospheric temperature, moisture, ozone levels, vegetation and rainfall across the globe with five advanced instruments. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Operating in polar orbit, the satellite is created to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather three to seven days out. Sensors aboard the spacecraft will collect measurements of air, ocean, and ground conditions, as well as fire locations, temperatures and water vapor throughout the atmosphere.

"We're pretty excited about the launch", said Joe Pica, director of the weather service's office of operations, who added the spacecraft is created to last about seven years.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, spacecraft is checked out on October 8, 2015, at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado. 14 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, had to be delayed due to a rocket issue.

On July 12, 2016, the first stage of the ULA Delta II rocket was transported to SLC-2 at Vandenberg and positioned on the launch pad.

6 On Your Side's Michelle Edmonds was at Vandenberg Air Force Base when the launch was scrubbed. It will be mounted atop the first stage of the rocket, seen on the left, as preparations continue for the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1. The series of four JPSS satellites are expected to span 20 years.

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

NASA-TV will cover the launch live and can be viewed at, starting at 1:15 a.m. PST on November 10.

According to the NOAA press report, "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".

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