The revolutionary new weather satellite, JPSS-1, is facing launch delays, ironically because of the weather it is designed to track. The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II carrying the JPSS-1 mission for NASA and NOAA was scrubbed on Tuesday due to a red range and a late launch vehicle alarm. Due to the short window there was insufficient time to fully coordinate a resolution. A fresh attempt was made this morning but it too was scrubbed due to winds being too strong at levels well above the surface. While the weather at the surface today was “100% GO” for launch, those gusty winds prevented a launch attempt and will likely persist for a few days to prevent a launch in the next 48 hours.
A statement released by United Launch Alliance (ULA) said, “Launch managers are working to determine a launch date after today’s planned liftoff was scrubbed due to upper-level winds.” Due to the weather forecast, it appears JPSS-1 will be delayed at least through Saturday morning.
Built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., the 5,025-pound JPSS-1 satellite is the first of new NOAA polar-orbiting weather observatories. The Joint Polar Satellite System, succeeding from a precursor series of weather satellites, will ensure data on atmospheric chemistry, clouds, fog, smoke, temperature, humidity, and Earth’s ozone layer reach scientists and weather forecasters through at least 2038.