Officials from NASA and the United Launch Alliance have confirmed JPSS-1 launch details as preparations for the mission continue. JPSS-1 is the culmination of over 50 years of meteorological spacecraft and is set to become the most advanced weather satellite the United States has ever launched.
JPSS-1 will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket. The launch is scheduled for 1:47 am PST (8:47 am GMT) from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Weather conditions are forecast to be partly cloudy with a 10% chance of precipitation with winds of 13 mph (21 kph) expected.
The full launch broadcast will be streamed via the NASA live portal.
Development of JPSS-1 began with the creation of the Joint Polar Satellite System by the White House in February 2010. The project cost around $1.6 billion (€1.37 billion) and is dubbed as a next-generation meteorological spacecraft capable of highly accurate weather forecasts.
“JPSS 1 is going to bring the latest, most advanced technology that NOAA has ever flown in polar orbit to produce accurate three-to-seven-day weather forecasts,” explained the director of the JPSS program at NOAA, Greg Mandt.
The spacecraft has a projected lifespan of seven years with JPSS-2, JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 projected to join in orbit in 2021, 2026 and 2031 respectively. Once operational, JPSS-1 will orbit the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day.
In addition to being the 123rd launch for ULA, Friday’s launch will be the 53rd Delta II launch for NASA and the 154th for the launch vehicle since it was first introduced almost three decades ago in 1989. The launch will also be ULA’s third in three months. The launch provider’s last two launches were for the National Reconnaissance Office deploying the NROL-42 spy satellite in September and the NROL-52 spy satellite in October.
Image Credit: Ball Aerospace