NASA And NOAA To Launch New Weather Satellite This Week

JPSS-1 Illustration, Courtesy NASA

The JPSS-1 launch has been rescheduled for 3:47 a.m Wednesday morning, after a late launch vehicle alarm cased the launch to be canceled early Tuesday morning. NASA is launching the new weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The JPSS-1 (Joint Polar Satellite System) will hold a host of instruments that will monitor a number of environmental conditions across the globe.

You might remember that NASA and NOAA launched a weather satellite around this time last year too. That was the GOES-16, which launched in November of 2016. The primary difference between these two Satellites is how they orbit the Earth.

Geostationary Orbiting Satellite, Courtesy NOAA

The GOES-16 is a geostationary satellite, which means that it ‘watches’ one area of the Earth at all times. A polar orbiting Satellite, like the JPSS-1, instead circles the poles. Since the Earth continues to rotate while the satellite circles the poles, the satellite ‘sees’ the entire globe over the course of several hours.

Having environmental readings from across the globe will be extremely helpful to researchers. It will also lend to higher quality data for weather models and climate models. The JPSS-1 also holds instruments that will help us monitor forest fires, volcanic activity, vegetation distribution, and many other important environmental conditions.

Once in orbit the satellite will be known as NOAA-20. You can watch the launch live online through NASA TV.