Watch NASA Launch Its Shiny New JPSS-1 Weather Satellite

Watch NASA Launch Its Shiny New JPSS-1 Weather Satellite

Watch NASA Launch Its Shiny New JPSS-1 Weather Satellite

The satellite is the first of four next-generation spacecraft for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

JPSS-1 is 14.8 feet in diameter (4.5 meters) and weighs 5,060 pounds (roughly 2,300 kilograms), and was one of the last NASA satellites scheduled to be powered into orbit by the Delta II rocket system. Four of them reportedly belong to different U.S. universities and were launched as a part of Nasa's educational nano-satellite program.

An advanced United States weather satellite created to improve the accuracy of extended forecasts has been launched into polar orbit from California.

The JPSS-1 will be rechristened the NOAA-20 once it reaches its final orbit, says Nasa. NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites for NOAA.

The new satellite is so accurate, according to Greg Mandt, director of the JPSS program, that it can reportedly "measure the temperature to better than a tenth of a degree from the surface of the Earth all the way to the edge of space". It will not only report and monitor weather patterns over short periods, the satellite's data will be used to cover Earth's climate as it changes in the long term as well, notes a Space.com report.

"Things went absolutely flawless today", NASA launch manager Omar Baez said after the JPSS-1 launch.

JPSS-1 has five instruments, each of which is significantly upgraded from the instruments on NOAA's previous polar-orbiting satellites.

"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 USA 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.

The Delta 2 rode almost 800,000 pounds of thrust from six ground-lit solid rocket boosters and an RS-27A main engine. "Many of the national infrastructure elements, the weather forecasts, all of the users in the nation rely on knowing the weather forecast will be there every day, every six hours, without interruption".

"We have a young, fresh J1, as the aging and mature Suomi-NPP can continue to operate, so that we now are getting ready for J2", which will someday be the new-arrival satellite to the older JPSS-1, he added.

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