NASA is targeting 1:25 a.m. PST, tomorrow, Nov. 10, for launch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite. The launch window is 36 minutes. JPSS-2, with NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) as a secondary payload, will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Weather officials with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 30 are predicting a greater than 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for tomorrow’s launch, with ground winds serving as the primary weather concern.
JPSS-2 is the third satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series and is designed to scan the Earth as it orbits from the North to the South Pole, crossing the equator 14 times a day to provide full global coverage twice a day. Operating from about 512 miles above Earth, JPSS-2 is expected to capture data to improve weather forecasts, helping scientists predict and prepare for extreme weather events and climate change.
LOFTID is a technology demonstration of a cross-cutting inflatable aeroshell, or heat shield, designed for atmospheric re-entry. The mission is dedicated to the memory of Bernard Kutter, a manager of advanced programs at ULA who championed lower-cost access to space and technologies to make that a reality. The technology demonstrated by LOFTID could be used for crewed and large robotic missions to Mars.
Together, NASA and NOAA partner in the development, launch, testing, and operation of all satellites in the JPSS series. NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system, in addition to launching the satellites on behalf of NOAA, which operates the satellites.
NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for managing the launch service.