Why NASA is launching a new polar satellite


The United Launch Alliance Atlas V payload fairing containing the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) at Vandenberg Space Force Base ahead of launch. | Image: NASA

This Thursday, a new Earth observation satellite will launch into space, where it will help scientists forecast the weather and keep an eye on increasingly common extreme weather events. The satellite, called Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2), is part of a global observation system and a product of a partnership between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“NOAA’s weather satellites have never been more critical as extreme weather events continue to be more frequent because of climate change,” said Irene Parker, deputy assistant administrator for systems at NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Services, in a prelaunch briefing. “From 2017 through to September of 2022, the US has…

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