Friday, November 10, officials from NOAA and with the help of NASA will be sending a new type of weather satellite into space. The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1 for short, is the first of four highly advanced polar satellites that will help improve the accuracy of weather forecasts out to seven days. While NASA will be assisting with the launch, all of the data will be collected and distributed by NOAA.
JPSS-1 will orbit the earth in a "polar orbit" meaning that it will circle the earth from North Pole to South Pole over and over as it spins. The satellite will be traveling so fast in a 24 hour period that it will cross the equator 14 times a day and will give us a glimpse of the weather around the entire globe twice a day.
While orbiting, JPSS-1 will gather measurements of atmospheric and land/sea conditions, land/sea temperatures, vegetation, clouds, snow and ice cover, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone, among other things.
Gathering these observations from JPSS-1 over the next 10 years will allow environmental experts to receive more accurate warnings ahead of severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and even blizzards.
In addition to forecasting, the satellite will also aid in detection of droughts and forest fires.
JPSS-1 will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.