Jason-3 is Healthy, Receiving Commands

Jason-3’s solar arrays are out, the spacecraft is power positive and engineers are beginning to send it commands, reports Spacecraft Mission Director Parag Vaze.

“The spacecraft looks great,” he confirmed.

The satellite’s arrival in orbit came on the heels of a successful countdown and launch today aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, with liftoff at 10:42:18 a.m. PST / 1:42:18 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

“Getting to today was a long journey,” said NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn, pointing out that this was the first time the agency’s Launch Services Program flew a mission on a SpaceX rocket.

It was an active countdown, Dunn said, but the NASA and SpaceX teams worked together, culiminating in an on-time launch and a healthy spacecraft in orbit.