Rocket launch from VAFB scrubbed; pushed to Wednesday morning

Boulder's Ball Aerospace, NOAA primed for polar-orbiting satellite launch has been seven years in the planning

The most important weather satellite you've never heard of launches to space Tuesday

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is eagerly anticipating the launch of the first satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). This rocket will be the penultimate Delta II with the final Delta II launch planned for the ICESat-2 in 2018.

This next-generation weather satellite - known as Joint Polar Satellite System-1 - promises "a leap in data collection and quality equivalent to going from an old flip-phone to an iPhone X", said meteorologist Ryan Maue of weather.us, a meteorological firm.

JPSS-1's instruments will analyze the full spectrum of reflected sunlight and thermal energy from the Earth to track and monitor various aspects of the weather and climate - including water vapor, ozone, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, and temperatures of the ocean and land surfaces as well as the atmosphere.

The National Weather Service anticipates being able to take advantage of these measurements to improve its forecasts, particularly for high-impact weather events, such as hurricanes and winter storms. Shortly after the postponement was revealed, Omar Baez Jr., a NASA senior launch director, confirmed that the plan was to retry the launch again at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday.

A first-of-its-kind weather satellite will have to wait at least 24 hours to begin its mission for NOAA and NASA after a rocket issue prevented an attempted liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California today (Nov. 14).

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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 launch of the Delta II rocket was scrubbed four minutes ahead of its scheduled liftoff at 1:47 a.m. Due to the short window there was insufficient time to fully coordinate a resolution.

Tuesday morning's delay was the second in a little more than a week for the planned launch, which had initially been scheduled for November 10. The team is looking to utilize the same launch window.

It will be known as NOAA-20 when it reaches orbit at 512 miles above the Earth, and it will replace the Soumi-NPP, which was a prototype test bed, becoming the primary US polar-orbiting satellite.

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