NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) satellite arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 1, 2017, to begin preparations for a November launch.
After its arrival, the JPSS-1 spacecraft was pulled from its shipping container, and is being prepared for encapsulation on top of the rocket that will take it to its polar orbit at an altitude of 512 miles (824 km) above Earth.
JPSS-1 is scheduled to be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Nov. 10, 2017, at 1:47 a.m., PST.
JPSS-1, which will be known as NOAA-20 after it reaches orbit, has a seven-year design life. NOAA partnered with NASA to implement the JPSS series of U.S. civilian polar-orbiting environmental remote sensing satellites and sensors. JPSS-1 is the first in a series of NOAA’s four next-generation, polar-orbiting weather satellites.
Launched in 2011, the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP), is a bridge between NASA's Earth Observing System of satellites and JPSS. Suomi NPP has been operating as NOAA’s primary operational satellite for global weather observations since May 2014.
JPSS-1 will orbit in the same plane as Suomi NPP, with JPSS-1 operating about 50 minutes ahead of Suomi NPP, allowing important overlap in observational coverage. It takes about 14 passes for each satellite in this orbit to cover Earth's surface.
The sensor capabilities for JPSS-1 have similar capabilities to those on Suomi NPP: the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), built by Northrop Grumman; theCross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), built by Harris; the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Nadir (OMPS-N), built by Ball Aerospace; the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES), built by Northrop Grumman; and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), built by Raytheon.
JPSS fulfills NOAA’s requirements to collect global multi-spectral radiometry and other specialized meteorological and oceanographic data, by remote sensing of land, sea and the atmosphere. These data support NOAA’s abilities to continuously observe Earth’s environment to better understand and predict changes in weather, climate, oceans and coasts, which supports the Nation’s economy and protect lives and property.