Vandenberg Air Force Base originally planned to launch the rocket last Friday, but the launch had to be rescheduled to replace a faulty battery on the rocket booster.
ATMS will provide critical microwave data, including atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles, to support weather forecasting for the operational JPSS system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This polar orbit will allow global coverage by the satellites twice every 24 hours, with 14 orbits per day.
For years, policy makers and scientists anxious about a looming polar-orbiting satellite gap that could come once one satellite blinked out from old age, prior to the next one launching.
Officials have postponed the California launch of a new type of USA weather satellite meant to improve the accuracy of extended forecasts.
The JPSS program is a partnership between NOAA and NASA that will oversee all the satellites in the series. It will be mounted atop the first stage of the rocket, seen on the left, as preparations continue for the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1.
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The Delta II rocket's window to launch JPSS-1 into the correct orbit was just over a minute long.
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.
JPSS-1 is a $1.6 billion spacecraft that will be placed into a polar orbit 512 miles (824 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth to monitor and report a wide range of environmental information. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument. "The Flight 2 development, build and test have proceeded smoothly and follow the success of the Flight 1 instrument for NPOESS Preparatory Project".
Ground crews at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California retracted a mobile gantry away from the Delta 2 rocket Monday afternoon, revealing the 128-foot-tall (39-meter) booster on its launch pad awaiting liftoff with a new polar-orbiting weather observatory.