NASA Launched Joint Polar Satellite System-1

Published on November 20, 2017
NASA has launched the first in a series of four advanced polar-orbiting satellites on its third try.


  • Joint Polar Satellite System-1 will help in improving the accuracy of weather forecasts and Earth observations.
  • It was launched into orbit atop a United Launch Alliance-built Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 
  • JPSS-1 was renamed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-20 when it reaches its final orbit. 
  • The last two attempts were failed earlier this week due to high winds and boats inside the launch range restriction zone offshore.
  • JPSS-1 is 14.8 feet in diameter and weighs 5,060 pounds (roughly 2,300 kilograms)
  •  It will circle the Earth approximately 14 times a day at an elevation of 512 miles (824 kilometers).
  • JPSS-1 carries five instruments the agencies; meteorologists with observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection.
  • JPSS-1 will join the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite in the same orbit.
  •  NOAA will provide observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection. 
  • The data collected from the satellite will improve weather forecasting, such as predicting a hurricane’s track, and will help agencies involved with post-storm recovery by visualizing storm damage and the geographic extent of power outages.
  • The JPSS program is a partnership between National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA through which they will oversee the development, launch, testing and operation all the satellites in the series. 
  • NOAA funds and manages the program, operations and data products. 
  • NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites for NOAA. 
  • JPSS-1 launch management was provided by NASA’s Launch Services Program based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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