NASA launched a Delta II rocket from the Vandenberg military base on the coast of California, carrying a new and powerful satellite on the orbit.
Scheduled to orbit around the Earth’s poles, the new satellite is intended for weather forecasting and hurricane tracking. The Joint Polar Satellite System 1 (JPSS 1), conducted in collaboration with NASA and the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is the first of four satellites to orbit around the poles. JPSS 1 will cross the Equator 14 times a day, delivering information about hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards.
The satellite will also monitor drought, forest fires, air quality and the composition of coastal waters. The information gathered by the satellite will be transmitted to weather stations in the Arctic and Antarctic areas.
Polar satellites will cooperate with GEOS geostationary satellites, which provide hemispherical images from 36,000 km altitude above the Equator. According to the information, 85% of the information used by computer models generating forecasts is information collected by JPSS.
The new satellite will split the orbit with the Suomi NPP satellite, the research and testing satellite of the sophisticated instruments used by JPSS 1. After about three months of tests and checks, the JPSS 1 satellite will begin its daily routine.