October 2, 2017 – NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 spacecraft has been removed from its shipping container in the Astrotech Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where it is being prepared for its upcoming launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.
The JPSS-1 satellite will go through a series of routine inspections, checkouts and testing before it is sealed inside the payload fairing and placed atop the Delta II rocket, already standing at Space Launch Complex-2W. Launch remains scheduled for November 10.
Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 spacecraft, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir instrument (OMPS), integrated all five of the satellite’s instruments, and is performing satellite-level testing and launch support. The satellite was shipped from Boulder, Colorado, to California last month.
Following launch, JPSS-1 will join the Ball-built NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite which has served as NOAA’s primary operational satellite for global weather observations since May 2014. JPSS-1 will orbit in the same plane as Suomi NPP, with JPSS-1 operating about 50 minutes ahead of Suomi NPP, allowing important overlap in observational coverage. It takes about 14 passes for each satellite in this orbit to cover Earth’s surface.
The JPSS missions are funded by NOAA to provide global environmental data in low-Earth polar orbit. NASA is the acquisition agent for the flight systems, launch services and components of the ground segment.