Watch NASA Launch Its Shiny New JPSS-1 Weather Satellite
"Emergency managers increasingly rely on our forecasts to make critical decisions and take appropriate action before a storm hits,"
JPSS-1 is 14.8 feet in diameter (4.5 meters) and weighs 5,060 pounds (roughly 2,300 kilograms), and was one of the last NASA satellites scheduled to be powered into orbit by the Delta II rocket system. It will circle the Earth approximately 14 times a day at an elevation of 512 miles (824 kilometers).
Per the NASA release, JPSS-1
carries five instruments
the agencies say will provide "meteorologists with observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection." Program director Greg Mandt
the onboard suite consists of "instruments so precise that they can measure the temperature to better than a tenth of a degree from the surface of the Earth all the way to the edge of
Its similarly polar-orbiting predecessor, Suomi NPP, was intended as a test of the technology involved in JPSS-1's construction but has since become a valuable meteorological tool. Once it has completed its three-month testing and calibration phase and been put into active service, JPSS-1 will be rechristened NOAA-20.
JPSS-1 is particularly important at a time when