NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite mission will now launch on Nov. 1, 2022, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The team discovered and addressed an issue during recent tests of a crucial device designed to collect visible and infrared images, which resulted in additional time needed to complete thermal vacuum testing.
During thermal vacuum testing, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument, or VIIRS, encountered a test equipment malfunction. Engineers discovered the problem was caused by temperature changes throughout the test, which caused the test equipment to move. The team retested the system after making changes to the test setup, and it performed admirably.
JPSS-2, the third satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series, is set to launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. After safely reaching orbit, the satellite will be renamed NOAA-21 to carry on the work of its predecessors, NOAA-20 (previously JPSS-1) and the NOAA-NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP). The launch is being managed by NASA‘s Launch Services Program (LSP), which is situated at Kennedy Space Center.
JPSS-2 will scan the world as it orbits from the North Pole to the South Pole 14 times per day, traversing the equator 14 times. It will collect data for weather forecasts, extreme weather events, and climate change from 512 miles above Earth. VIIRS collects imagery for global land, atmosphere, cryosphere, and ocean observations.
NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID), dedicated to the memory of Bernard Kutter, will launch as a supplementary payload to JPSS-2. LOFTID is a test of a hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator, or aeroshell, that could one day aid in the landing of humans on Mars.
NOAA and NASA collaborate to oversee the development, launch, testing, and operation of all JPSS satellites. The programme, operations, and data products are all funded and managed by NOAA. NASA develops and constructs the equipment, spacecraft, and ground systems for NOAA, as well as launches the satellites that NOAA operates.