New weather satellite will help with natural disasters, local forecasts

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But a bad reading on the first stage of satellite's United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, as well as boats in the safety zone, forced NASA to call off the launch just minutes before liftoff.

"It allows us to see smaller, better detail, smaller forest fires, know when they're starting and then allow, tell the decision makers and the responders how they need to respond and react", said Vanessa Griffin, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Operating in polar orbit, the satellite is created to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather three to seven days out.

"I always love watching these things", said Goff. "The JPSS satellite system will provide advanced forecasting on not only hurricanes, but also risky weather events threatening communities across the United States". Each will circle the globe 14 times a day, 50 minutes apart and provide full, global observations for US weather prediction.

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The new satellite will also deliver critical observations during severe weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards and is created to help improve forecasts three-to-seven days ahead of a severe weather event. JPSS 1 will go into orbit around 500 miles (800 kilometers) high and use five instruments to measure temperature and humidity in the atmosphere, solar radiation reflected off the Earth, ozone health, and other key data to aid weather forecasters. "JPSS will continue this trend", he added. The CubeSat is the first of four planned as part of the JPSS series.

According to, JPSS-1 is meant to build off the work of other NOAA satellites. Instruments on board were designed by Ball, along with Raytheon, Harris and Northrop Grumman.

A Delta II rocket launch that was scheduled for early Tuesday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base was scrubbed at the last minute and postponed for at least 24 hours.

It remained unclear when another attempt would occur, but mission managers were tentatively planning to try again for liftoff at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday. This interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of USA polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.