Joint Polar Satellite System-1

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Context:

NASA launched a next- generation satellite into space designed to monitor weather around the world and help improve forecasts.

  • The satellite, called the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), is a joint venture between the US space agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides weather reports and forecasts.
  • The satellite was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
  • It will orbit the Earth 14 times each day from one pole to the other at 824 kms above the planet, “providing scientists full global coverage twice a day,” NASA said.
  • The satellite “is the first in NOAA’s series of four, next-generation operational environmental satellites representing major advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring,” it said.
  • JPSS-1 “carries a suite of advanced instruments designed to take global measurements of atmospheric, land and sea conditions, from sea surface temperatures, volcanic ash, hurricane intensity and many more.”
  • Four smaller satellites called CubeSats, part of NASA’s educational nano-satellite program, are to be released on the same mission.
  • The CubeSats belong to four US universities and will be set in orbit after the weather satellite has been deployed, NASA said.
  • Two previous launch attempts had been cancelled, once due to high winds and another due to technical problems.

5 ways in which the satellite will benefit Earth

1. The JPSS-1 will help in improving the accuracy of weather predictions, forecasts, and Earth observations — such as predicting hurricane’s track — and will help agencies involved with post-storm recovery by visualizing storm damage and the geographic extent of power outages.

2. The space asset’s data will:

  • Help improve recognition of climate patterns that influence weather, such as El Nino and La Nina
  • Feed into weather forecast models for future use

3. The series of satellites stand to represent major advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction, environmental monitoring and the “protection of humankind”.

4. Reportedly, the satellite could also assist in weather forecasts up to seven days in advance, including the potential for impactful weather.

5. The spacecraft is highly advanced in polar-orbiting and will reportedly orbit the globe 14 times a day (every 90 minutes) from one pole to the other at an 824 km elevation above planet — providing scientists full coverage of planet Earth twice a day.

Source: India Today