The LOFTID team successfully retrieved the mission’s ejectable data module from the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning. The data module resembles a large lemon and holds a backup copy of the data recorded during LOFTID’s demonstration. Another copy of the data is stored aboard the heat shield itself, which was already recovered by the team.
The recovery vessel will now make its way back to port. The LOFTID team will analyze the recorded data and inspect the heat shield to assess how the technology performed. Additional updates will be provided as available.
Mission managers for NOAA’s JPSS-2 confirm the satellite has acquired signal and is receiving and responding to commands. The satellite is currently power positive (getting electricity) and in a safe and stable configuration while teams assess the status of the solar array.
Team members successfully retrieved the LOFTID heat shield from the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning. With the heat shield on board, the recovery vessel will next head to retrieve LOFTID’s ejectable data module, which contains a backup of the demonstration data that is also stored on the heat shield.
Following a planned hold, and using some of the 36 minute launch window to work an issue, teams are moving forward. As the team was filling the rocket with liquid oxygen earlier, they also were working a valve issue on the ground. There is about 28 minutes left in the window, and the new T-0 is 1:49 a.m. PST.
NASA and United Launch Alliance have delayed the launch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) and NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) due to the need to replace a battery on board the Centaur upper stage of the launch vehicle. Launch is now planned for no earlier than Wednesday, Nov. 9, pending range availability. The science and technology briefing scheduled to air on NASA TV at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) today, Oct. 29, has also been delayed. Follow the blog for more information.
Editor’s note:The science and technology briefing scheduled to air on NASA TV at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) today, Oct. 29, is delayed. For more information, read this blog post.
Officials from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will discuss the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite and NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration during a science briefing that will air live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) Saturday, Oct. 29.
The JPSS-2 & LOFTID launch is targeted to lift off Tuesday, Nov. 1, from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, with launch scheduled at 2:25 a.m. PDT.
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.
NASA’s LOFTID is riding as a secondary payload aboard the Atlas V. LOFTID is a demonstration of a cross-cutting inflatable aeroshell, or heat shield, for atmospheric re-entry. The mission is dedicated to the memory of Bernard Kutter, a manager of advanced programs at United Launch Alliance (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.
Once JPSS-2 reaches orbit, LOFTID will be put on a re-entry trajectory from low-Earth orbit to demonstrate the heat shield’s ability to slow down and survive re-entry. The project is sponsored by the Technology Demonstration Missions program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in partnership with ULA.
Briefing participants, in speaking order, are:
Jordan Gerth, meteorologist and satellite scientist, NOAA’s National Weather Service
Jim Gleason, senior project scientist, NASA JPSS, NASA
Satya Kalluri, program scientist, NOAA JPSS Program
Joe Del Corso, LOFTID project manager, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia
Together, NOAA and NASA 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. LOFTID is managed by the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, with contributions from various NASA centers: Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California; Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama; and Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) managers completed the Flight Readiness Review this morning at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite mission. The review focuses on the preparedness of NASA, ULA, and the JPSS-2 team to support the flight and the certification of flight readiness. The final step is the Launch Readiness Review, which is scheduled to begin Friday, at 9 a.m. PDT on Oct. 28.
JPSS-2 is scheduled launch on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 2:25 a.m. PDT from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-3. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center, America’s premier multiuser spaceport, is managing the launch service.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the nation’s advanced series of the latest generation of NOAA’s polar-orbiting environmental satellites. JPSS is a collaborative program between NOAA and NASA and, through its series of five satellites, JPSS will provide critical observations well into the 2030s. JPSS currently includes two satellites – the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, and NOAA-20. NOAA’S JPSS-2 is the third satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series and will be one of five satellites that will comprise the JPSS constellation. Upon reaching orbit, NOAA will rename the satellite NOAA-21.
JPSS-2 is expected to capture data to improve weather forecasts, helping scientists predict and prepare for extreme weather events and climate change. This includes forecasting severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes, predicting blizzards days in advance, and assessing other environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality, and harmful ocean conditions, particularly along the coasts.
LOFTID is managed by the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, with contributions from various NASA centers: Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California; Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama; and Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.