JPSS-1 Has New Target Launch Date

Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

September 1, 2017 – The launch of JPSS-1 is now scheduled for November 10 at 2:47 a.m. MST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. JPSS-1, built by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, is the first in a series of NOAA’s four next-generation operational polar-orbiting weather satellites that will give scientists the most advanced tools to aid in weather forecasting and earth observations.

“Hurricane Harvey is a stark reminder of the importance of the NOAA satellite program,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this disaster.”

These advanced Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites will serve as the backbone of NOAA’s weather forecasting system for the next 20 years, providing the reliable, global observations required to support accurate numerical weather forecasts up to seven days in advance.

JPSS-1 was originally scheduled to launch on January 20, 2017, and was most recently scheduled for September, but the new launch date has given engineers extra time to complete testing of the spacecraft and instrument electronics and to finish work on the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder, one of the primary instruments on JPSS. The satellite carries five state-of-the-art instruments providing a comprehensive suite of earth observations.

“The JPSS-1 team has done an incredible job getting this extremely capable satellite prepared for launch and ready to send back quality environmental data soon after it is in orbit,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

The satellite is scheduled to arrive in California just before the Labor Day weekend, where it will undergo final preparation before it is launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. When it reaches orbit, JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20.

Following launch, JPSS-1 will join Suomi NPP, the joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite giving the United States two, highly sophisticated satellites, each circling the Earth 14 times per day, providing full, global observations for U.S. weather prediction. Suomi NPP, which initially was planned as a research and risk reduction mission when it launched on October 28, 2011, became NOAA’s primary operational satellite for global weather observations on May 1, 2014.

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. Raytheon Corporation built the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and built the common ground system. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System instrument.

NOAA works in partnership with NASA on all JPSS missions.