JPSS 1 weather satellite deploys from Delta 2 rocket

Aging weather satellites receiving much needed upgrades

About 63 minutes after liftoff, the JPSS-1 satellite had deployed its solar arrays and was operating on its own power, NASA reported.

A joint project of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, JPSS-1 is created to provide readings for atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash and fire detection.

Delta II rocket with NOAA's JPSS-1 satellite early Saturday morning after three previous launch attempts had been scrubbed. JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit. JPSS-1 is part of an orbiting constellation that will monitor weather conditions, improve forecasting and surveil major storm damage across the Earth using cameras and sensors.

Circling the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day, JPSS-1 carries a suite of five instruments meant to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather events three to seven days beforehand.

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The spacecraft, which continues decades of collecting weather data from polar-orbiting satellites is created to operate for seven years, but officials hope it lasts longer.

The JPSS program is a partnership between NOAA and NASA through which they will oversee the development, launch, testing and operation all the satellites in the series. NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites for NOAA.

After JPSS-1's deployment, the small ride-along satellites were ejected into orbit.

Officials have said the mission, including launch and satellite costs, add up to $1.6 billion.

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