JPSS 1 weather satellite deploys from Delta 2 rocket

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Delta II rocket with NOAA's JPSS-1 satellite early Saturday morning after three previous launch attempts had been scrubbed.

NOAA's new JPSS 1 weather satellite deployed from its Delta 2 launcher in an orbit more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth almost one hour after blasting off from California.

Spacecraft separation was not planned until approximately an hour after liftoff.

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Officials have said the mission costs, including launch and satellite, add up to $1.6 billion.

A USA satellite jam-packed with the latest high-tech instruments for measuring weather-related data on earth has been launched atop a NASA rocket that blasted off from a California air base. It also tracks floods, droughts and fires and monitors volcanic eruptions.

After two second-stage engine burns and coast phases, the JPSS-1 weather satellite is deployed into orbit.

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JPSS-1 will collect assorted data such as atmospheric observations of temperatures and water vapor information expected to help improve weather forecasts out to seven days, according to Mitch Goldberg, chief JPSS program scientist for NOAA.

"Emergency managers increasingly rely on our forecasts to make critical decisions and take appropriate action before a storm hits", NOAA National Weather Service director Louis W. Uccellini wrote in the statement.

One in particular is called the Visible Infrared Imager - Imaging Radiometer Suite, which in addition to weather forecasting provides environmental assessments, information on sea surface temperatures and ice breaking in the Arctic. "Such forecasts are impossible without quality robust global data that's provided from polar satellites, and JPSS-1 is joining that network of satellites that provides these observations that are the backbone of forecast process".

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