The first in a series of four advanced polar-orbiting satellites launched to space on its third try early Saturday, turning its watchful eye to improving the accuracy of weather forecasts and Earth observations.
The new Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite, or JPSS-1, launched into orbit atop a United Launch Alliance-built Delta II rocket at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT), lighting up the predawn sky over its Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The successful liftoff came after two scrubbed launch attempts earlier this week due to high winds and boats inside the launch range restriction zone offshore.
“Things went absolutely perfect today,” NASA launch manager Omar Baez said after the JPSS-1 launch. “The nation’s got another wonderful weather asset up in space.”