This summer, the satellite’s solar array will be installed, and the satellite will be moved into a shipping container, which is controlled for temperature and humidity. It will then be shipped to the launch site in California, where it will go through a final series of tests before getting installed on the rocket, Brann said.
So much has to come together when planning for the launch, said JPSS Flight Mission Systems Engineer Lou Parkinson. “Not only do we build the satellite and test the satellite and launch the satellite, but then we need to be able to hand over a successfully operating satellite to NOAA to make sure they can continue operations.”
JPSS-2 will scan the globe as it orbits from the North to the South Pole, crossing the equator 14 times a day. From 512 miles above Earth, it will observe atmospheric conditions like temperature and moisture and extreme weather, like hurricanes, floods, wildfires and drought. Once in orbit, it will continue the work of its predecessors NOAA-20 and the NOAA-NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP).