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NASA to launch JPSS – 1 global satellite to track extreme weather patterns

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By Ray Mwareya, in New York 25 October 2017

Top officials from the World Meteorological Agency (WTA) U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) today previewed the upcoming launch and mission of the Joint Polar Satellite System, (JPSS-1) the first in a series of four advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites that will extend the prediction of global extreme weather events to seven days for all countries from Africa to Asia. 

JPSS-1 will circle the globe 14 times a day to capture observations of the atmosphere, land and waters of the world – from torrential rains that trigger mudslides in Africa, to tropical storms in the Caribbean, to wildfires in Europe, drought in Asia and more. 

NOAA on its part will provide JPSS-1 data on the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), allowing weather agencies from other countries to access JPSS-1 data and improve emergency preparedness.

John Lee, Deputy Director, NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division says this satellite offers unique capabilities because through its supercomputing abilities “we can let people know how long violent storms will hang in their region. Through NASA commitment to free Open Data climate observation, we will help all nations benefit from improved weather forecasting.”

Dr. Mitch Goldberg, Chief Program Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System said, “We have to offer advanced data from this satellite to their entire global community because no country is immune from climate change and weather disasters. This satellite will see every single part of the world at least twice a day.”

Lars Peter Riishojgaard, Director, Observing and Information Systems, World Meteorological Organization revealed that the JPSS-1 is uniquely important to poor countries in Africa and Asia because – “No country is immune from climate change and weather disaster.” He said, “While rich countries have ground radars, financially weak countries don’t have many ground radars. This is where Open Data satellites like JPSS- come in.”   In conclusion emphasized need for a global approach to climate monitoring – “We live in a world of conflicts where nations bicker. That is why we have to operate and distribute data from this satellite collectively through a UN agency.”

The JPSS-1 is scheduled to launch on November 10 at 1:47 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.