Next-gen weather satellite goes into orbit

JPSS-1 launch
A United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket sends the JPSS-1 satellite into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. (ULA Photo)

The first in a series of four next-generation weather satellites, known as the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 or JPSS-1, is in orbit after a twice-delayed liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Four small research satellites and an Australian nanosatellite piggybacked on today’s United Launch Alliance Delta 2 launch and were successfully deployed as well.

Two launch attempts had to be scrubbed earlier in the week due to a variety of snags, including boats that strayed into the restricted zone for the launch, a technical glitch and weather concerns. But today’s countdown went smoothly, leading to liftoff at 1:47 a.m. PT today.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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