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Northrop-Built NOAA Polar Environmental Satellite to Launch Aboard ULA Rocket

Forecasting extreme

weather events

Northrop-Built NOAA Polar Environmental Satellite to Launch Aboard ULA Rocket

A United Launch Alliance rocket will launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 mission on Nov. 1 from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. According to NOAA, the JPSS-2 spacecraft will deliver more accurate forecasts of extreme weather events and help monitor climate change. The satellite is the third in NOAA’s series of five polar-orbiting environmental spacecraft, NASA said.

Northrop Grumman is in charge of building the JPSS-2, 3 and 4 satellites. The company based the soon-to-be-launched spacecraft on its LEOStar-3 satellite bus designed for low-Earth orbit operations. It equipped JPSS-2 with an Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder instrument, which collects microwave energy from the Earth’s atmosphere and surface to help predict the nature and duration of any weather system. According to Northrop, the satellite was built to provide real-time data to any ground system worldwide for faster response to developing weather events.

NOAA’s National Weather Service expects data from JPSS satellites to enable forecasting of severe weather events at least three days in advance, allowing emergency managers to make better disaster preparations.

NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator will fly with JPSS-2 as a secondary payload on the Atlas V 401 rocket. LOFTID will demonstrate an inflatable heat shield for atmospheric reentry that could be used to land heavy payloads on Mars. Two hours after its launch in space, the payload will return to Earth to perform the reentry test.

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Category: Space