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Battery problem delays JPSS-1 launch

07 Novembre 2017

United Launch Alliance informed about postponing the launch of Delta II rocket with JPSS-1 satellite for at least four days.

The launch was delayed "in order to replace a faulty battery on the Delta II booster", according to a statement released Monday by VAFB public affairs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said issues with that instrument, as well as with the ground system supporting the spacecraft, pushed back the launch from January to March, and then again until late this year.

The rocket is set to carry the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, the first of a new series of environmental spacecraft officials say will help improve weather forecasting.

The launch will be the penultimate mission for the Delta 2, a vehicle whose first launch was in 1989 but whose heritage dates back to the Thor-Delta rocket flown in the early years of the Space Age.

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Officials gave approval to proceed with final launch preparations during a flight readiness review last week, but managers ordered the battery swap Monday.

Development of those instruments, in particular a microwave sounder, significantly delayed the launch of JPSS-1. JPSS-1 was previously attached to Delta II on October 24, 2017 after arriving at Vandenberg on September 6.

File photo of a Delta 2 rocket on its launch pad at Vandenberg before a 2011 mission with the Suomi NPP weather satellite.

The measurements will aid medium-range forecasts by feeding data into numerical computer models formulating three-to-seven-day weather outlooks.