A next-generation satellite built to make global weather forecasts more accurate than ever will now launch into space no earlier than Saturday (November 18) after two delays earlier this week, NASA officials said.
The satellite, called Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT) atop a Delta II rocket, officials said. NASA officials in an update. You can watch the launch live here, courtesy of NASA TV, starting at 4:15 a.m. EST (09:15 GMT).
Initial JPSS-1 launch attempts on Tuesday and Wednesday (November 14 and 15) were delayed, first by a problem with rockets and boats inside the mission’s restricted security area; and later due to unacceptable high winds and another launch range issue.
The $1.6 billion JPSS-1 mission is the first in a new fleet of four advanced satellites designed to track Earth’s weather like never before for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
“JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances in observations used for severe weather forecasting and environmental monitoring,” NASA officials said in a statement. “The JPSS system will help increase the accuracy of weather forecasts from three to seven days.”
The satellite will circle the Earth in a polar orbit at an altitude of 512 miles (824 kilometers), performing 14 orbits around the planet each day.