Tuesday, October 16, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 32

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 8th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 36 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 36

NASA satellite launch at Vandenberg delayed


A faulty battery delayed the launch of a rocket carrying a NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, originally set to launch on Nov. 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The battery was on a booster for the Delta II Rocket owned by United Launch Alliance—a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin that provides launch services.

“Basically there was a short in the battery,” United Launch Alliance Spokesperson Lyn Chassagne told the Sun. “It’s a fairly common issue in launch vehicles and a fairly simple repair.”

The scheduled Nov. 10 launch of a Delta II Rocket owned by United Launch Alliance was delayed because of a faulty battery. The rocket would have carried a payload of satellites for NASA and NOAA into orbit.

Base officials said in a press release on Nov. 6 that the vehicle and spacecraft were stable and added that the mission would be rescheduled for no earlier than Nov. 14.

The NASA/NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS) is an advanced series of polar-orbiting environmental satellites, according to United Launch Alliance’s website.

“JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring,” the site says.

The satellite set to launch from Vandenberg on Nov. 14 is part of the JPSS system.

According to NOAA, the satellites have a suite of advanced instruments to collect information on the earth’s atmosphere, land, and surface of the oceans. It will orbit 512 miles above Earth and help scientists create more accurate weather forecasts up to seven days in advance; track how weather affects plants, including forests and food bearing crops; monitor ocean health by taking detailed measurements of water temperature and color; as well as keep tabs on the atmosphere to create earlier warnings of severe weather; and watch for volcanoes and forest fires around the world “to monitor air quality and enhance public safety.”

Chassagne told the Sun that United Launch Alliance thought the arrangement with NASA and NOAA was a valuable partnership.

“I think it’s really great and an honor to be a part of this overall constellation of satellites and to be able to deliver this and add to NASA’s and NOAA’s capabilities,” she said.

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