New weather satellite could improve long-range weather forecasts

New weather satellite could improve long-range weather forecasts

(WMC) - NASA will launch the first of four brand new weather satellites Tuesday November 14th after a year of preparation.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) will launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. The mission, part of the space agency's collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was initially scheduled to launch Friday, Nov. 10. But NOAA officials announced that a faulty battery on the Delta II booster prompted the delay.

JPSS-1 is the first in the series of JPSS (Joint Polar Satellite System) satellites that will keep an eye on the weather and environment. These satellites will circle the Earth from North Pole to South Pole 14 times each day as the planet spins below. This allows JPSS to see the whole Earth twice every day!

Thanks to its five advanced instruments, the soon-to-launch JPSS-1 will gather global measurements of:

  • Atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures
  • Vegetation
  • Clouds
  • Rainfall
  • Snow and ice cover
  • Fire locations and smoke plumes
  • Atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone

It has a suite of advanced instruments to collect information about what's happening in the atmosphere, on land, and on the surface of the oceans. From its orbit 512 miles above Earth, JPSS-1 will help us:

  • Create more accurate weather forecasts up to 7 days in advance.
  • Track how the weather affects plants, including forests and the crops that grow our food.
  • Monitor ocean health by taking detailed measurements of water temperature and color.
  • Keep tabs on the atmosphere to create earlier warnings of severe weather.
  • Watch for volcanoes and forest fires around the world to monitor air quality and enhance public safety.

Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is targeted for 4:47 a.m. EST (1:47 a.m. PST). Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website at 4:15 a.m.

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