NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 spacecraft and a host of small satellites known as CubeSats are beginning their missions following this morning’s successful launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. The on-time liftoff occurred at 1:47:36 a.m. PST (4:47:36 EST) from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
“Things went absolutely perfect today. The weather cooperated, the upper-level winds cooperated, and so did the vehicle, spacecraft and range instruments,” said NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez after launch and ascent activities were complete. “We couldn’t ask for better.”
JPSS-1 is the first in NOAA’s series of four, next-generation operational environmental satellites designed to circle the Earth in a polar orbit. JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. This data is used by NOAA’s National Weather Service for numerical forecast models, ultimately helping emergency managers make timely decisions on life-saving early warnings and evacuations. JPSS-1 was Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado.
“The nation has another wonderful weather asset in space,” Baez said.