New weather satellite scheduled to be launched on Tuesday

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The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite, or JPSS-1, was set to launch into a polar orbit around Earth at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT) to begin measuring atmospheric temperature, moisture, ozone levels, vegetation and rainfall across the globe with five advanced instruments. NOAA-20 and the polar-orbiting satellites, on the other hand, get a view of the entire planet and provide a large chunk of the data that are used in weather prediction models because they get a global view. "The rocket is in a safe condition, the spacecraft, JPSS-1, is in a safe condition". The $1.6 billion mission will improve forecasting, with three follow-on satellites planned over the next two decades. "JPSS will continue this trend", he added. Forecasters will be able to use the data to better predict weather events and hazards, such as a hurricane's track, and when a hurricane will intensify or weaken, as well as identifying power outages in addition to locating and evaluating damage following a storm. After it successfully clears the on-orbit test phase, NOAA-20 will become the nation's primary polar weather satellite and Suomi NPP will become its back up. Instruments on board were designed by Ball, along with Raytheon, Harris and Northrop Grumman.

Launch of a Delta 2 rocket carrying a sophisticated polar weather satellite was called off at the last minute Tuesday by an apparent technical issue with the booster and wayward boats that strayed into the the offshore danger zone at the California launch site. This interagency effort (JPSS) is the latest generation of US polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.

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NASA launch manager Omar Baez confirmed that up until 4 minutes before liftoff, the only issue launch controllers were tracking were a few boats in the boat exclusion area off the coast near Vandenberg Air Force Base, but then one parameter on the first stage also went out of limits.

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