Weather Forecast: 100 Percent ‘Go’

jason3artistconceptWeather forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 30th Weather Squadron are predicting a 100 percent chance of favorable weather at the scheduled time for launch of Jason-3 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Liftoff is targeted for the opening of a 30-second launch window at 10:42:18 a.m. PST  – 1:42 EST – on Sunday, Jan. 17 from Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A final Launch Readiness Review is scheduled to be held on Friday.

Jason-3 is an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue U.S.- European satellite measurements of the topography of the ocean surface. It will continue the ability to monitor and precisely measure global sea surface heights, monitor the intensification of tropical cyclones and support seasonal and coastal forecasts. Jason-3 data also will benefit fisheries management, marine industries and research into human impacts on the world’s oceans. The mission is planned to last at least three years, with a goal of five years.

Jason-3 is a four-agency international partnership consisting of NOAA, NASA, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, France’s space agency, and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. Thales Alenia of France built the spacecraft.

For more information on the Jason-3 mission, visit:

Jason-3 On Pace for Jan. 17 Liftoff

19249574346_85c65b02d8_oLaunch preparations continue at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the launch of Jason-3 on January 17, 2016. At Space Launch Complex 4E, the next milestone is mating the first stage booster to the second stage which is currently planned to occur on Dec. 28.  The spacecraft, seen here after arriving at Vandenberg earlier this year, will be encapsulated into the payload fairing on Jan. 9, then mated to the rocket’s second stage on Jan. 12.

Engineers Attaching Jason-3 Spacecraft to Falcon 9 Rocket

jason3artistconceptAt Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with the determination of a January 17, 2016, launch date for Jason-3, the spacecraft is being mated to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket today. Launch time is 10:42:18 a.m. PST. The electrical connections with the launch vehicle will be established tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 15.  Work to begin encapsulation into payload fairing will begin January 5.

Electrical Tests Progress Well

jason3artistconceptEngineers and technicians at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California have been conducting initial electrical tests of the Jason-3 spacecraft this week in preparation for the August launch. The tests have been going well and will be followed by Propulsion system leak checks beginning Monday.