Ground crews at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California retracted a mobile gantry away from the Delta 2 rocket Monday afternoon, revealing the 128-foot-tall (39-meter) booster on its launch pad awaiting liftoff with a new polar-orbiting weather observatory.
JPSS-1, which will be known as NOAA-20 when it reaches polar orbit, will join the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP), a joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite, giving the US the benefit of two, sophisticated polar satellites in the same orbit. This interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of US polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.
The launch of the Delta 2 rocket has been rescheduled for Wednesday, at 1:47 a.m. PST. JPSS-1 is the newest and most advanced weather satellite to date using numerous same instruments on the Suomi NPP satellite launched on October 28, 2011. Each will circle the globe 14 times a day, 50 minutes apart and provide full, global observations for USA weather prediction.
The JPSS-1 was designed and built by Ball Aerospace. "This program started seven years ago". "The rocket is in a safe condition, the spacecraft, JPSS-1, is in a safe condition".
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will build and deliver the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) for the Joint Polar Satellite Systems (JPSS) under a contract with NASA.
The five instrument suites on JPSS-1 are the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS), Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES).
Scott Asbury, program director at Ball Aerospace and formerly the JPSS-1 program manager, is among the roughly 10 Ball personnel who will be at the launch site, while about another 10 from Ball plan to be at the NASA satellite operations facility in Suitland, Md.
The Delta II will be in the "7920" configuration: "7" denotes the 7000 series, utilizing an RS-27A engine in the first stage; "9" is the number of solid rocket (GEM-40) boosters; "2" denotes the second stage with an AJ10 engine; "0" denotes no third stage.
The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II carrying the JPSS-1 mission for NASA and NOAA was scrubbed today due to a red range and a late launch vehicle alarm.
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