NASA will launch its newest Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 weather satellite on Thursday, November 10, and the event will be broadcast online. The JPSS-2 satellite is designed to monitor weather phenomenon from space using a variety of instruments that take continuous measurements of temperature, moisture, ozone, atmospheric pressure, cloud cover, sea ice and even Earth’s vegetation health. You can watch NASA’s JPSS-2 weather satellite launch on Thursday at 11:42 p.m.
What is JPSS-2 Satellite
JPSS-2 is an environmental satellite and the newest addition to the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), a partnership between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A polar-orbiting weather satellite, it will monitor Earth’s atmosphere, land, oceans, ice sheets and plants from space.
Data collected by JPSS-2 will help forecast weather for both near term weather predictions as well as longer range climate projections.
The satellite is scheduled to launch on Thursday, November 10th at 11:47am Eastern Time.
The Joint Polar Satellite System was created in 2012 by merging NOAA’s QuikSCAT satellite with NASA’s Earth Observing System program.
The data collected by these satellites are critical for monitoring a wide variety of natural hazards such as tsunamis, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanoes and severe storms.
The JPSS satellites also provide information about atmospheric composition that is important for understanding air quality; and vegetation data that are important for agricultural productivity assessments.
This week’s launch of JPSS-2 brings the total number of orbiting satellites operated by NASA and NOAA to 16 — more than any other nation.
At this time there are only two operational satellites that are designated under the new joint system; however, there are four additional spacecraft currently awaiting launch dates that will be integrated into this partnership in 2020 or 2021.
Why is JPSS-2 important?
JPSS-2 is an environmental satellite that will study Earth’s atmosphere and provide data for agencies such as NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation.
The satellite will measure atmospheric conditions such as ozone, aerosols, and clouds.
The satellite was designed to replace the aging current weather satellites so that NASA can continue its forecast modeling with reliable measurements.
JPSS-2 will be able to send back images of Earth day or night.
It will also be used by scientists who are researching climate change, agriculture, water resources, wildfires, air quality issues like smog or smoke from fires, volcanic eruptions and forest fires.
The new satellite is expected to work for about five years in space before it eventually runs out of power.
The Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) has been developed in collaboration between NASA, NOAA, and NSF. With this system, observations of Earth’s atmosphere will be made more frequently and with greater precision than ever before.
As a result, JPSS-2 will provide a valuable tool for monitoring atmospheric conditions such as ozone, aerosols, and cloud cover over our planet. A major goal is to monitor changes in these parameters over time which may be related to the changing global climate.
In addition, the availability of both daytime and nighttime imagery from this satellite may lead to more accurate forecasting because more surface features can now be monitored during all hours of operation.
For example, when models calculate future regional temperatures and precipitation rates under various scenarios, there is much uncertainty due to lack of data on how cloudy skies might affect radiation balance.
With the help of JPSS-2 measurements, modelers will be better able to account for these complexities in their calculations. More accurate forecasts would allow planners to adjust their decisions accordingly—from anticipating possible droughts or floods ahead of time, to predicting where best to relocate endangered species populations threatened by increasing temperatures or increased flooding risk zones.
The launch event will be held at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 11:57 pm PT on November 10th.
How can I watch the launch?
The launch will be aired live on NASA TV and streamed online. Tune in at 1:30 p.m. EST Thursday, November 10.
It will take the satellite approximately three hours to reach its orbit over the Earth’s surface, so don’t forget to come back at 4:45 p.m.
EST for the first images of Earth captured by the satellite! JPSS-2 is an environmental satellite that will monitor the weather phenomenon of Earth from space, providing critical data for NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) and other users around the world.
The satellite is expected to last at least seven years and should not experience any equipment failure or shutdown during its operational life span.
JPSS-2 is a $1 billion mission sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce; NASA; NOAA; Department of Defense; This organization’s partners are Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); Indian Organization for the Research of Space (ISRO).
Initially it was developed for research, but in case the other one crashes, this one will serve as backup for California.
Especially for those living there as fires recently destroyed much of the state. Images provided by JPSS-2 may also help scientists better understand natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions and El Niño events.
The entire process takes about six minutes – the rocket launches into space, deploys its solar panels to power itself, then releases the satellites into orbit while hovering below them with a giant inflatable bag which serves as a trampoline to slow their descent through Earth’s atmosphere.
If you’re lucky enough to have clear skies on November 10th, keep your eyes peeled for the familiar twinkling star and watch history unfold before your eyes!
For those who miss watching NASA’s live stream of launch day, there will be plenty more opportunities in future years.
NASA expects to launch similar weather satellites at least once every two years over the next decade.
According to Dr Eric Webster, who leads NOAA’s JPSS program: Every piece of data we get from [the satellite] is important; it allows us to predict what’s going to happen in our world.
In fact, 95% of all weather forecasts rely on meteorological data from weather satellites – not only can they be used by professionals working within the field, but anyone can use imagery provided by these NASA technologies so long as they have an Internet connection!
What happens after the launch?
After the launch, the satellite will be carried into space by a Delta II rocket, and from there it will orbit Earth and collect data.
The JPSS-2 will measure temperature, atmospheric humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall, snow depth and ice cover.
The satellite also carries two instruments that measure solar radiation in order to provide information about our sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels on Earth.
Data from these instruments are important for understanding climate change because UV rays can directly affect the ozone layer.
NASA plans to upload live video of the launching process on its weite so you can watch along with them! The livestream is scheduled to start at 8:30pm ET on Thursday.
It will show the Delta II rocket being launched into space as well as take us through some of the preparations leading up to liftoff.
One of those preparations includes going over all 11 systems and modules onboard the spacecraft in order to make sure they’re ready for their year-long mission in space.
There will also be a second webcast that starts at 4am ET on Friday morning, just before sunrise when we’ll see the JPSS-2 spacecraft separate from the Delta II rocket and enter into orbit around Earth.
It’s expected to take five days before JPSS-2 enters its operational phase. We hope this post has helped clarify how this NASA mission works!