Final JPSS-2 Satellite Instrument Passes Readiness Test
The Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument built to fly on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 satellite is ready to ship to the spacecraft. CrIS has passed all of its readiness tests, completing its pre-ship review. Pre-ship review is the final step before instruments are shipped to and integrated onto the spacecraft. CrIS is the future satellite’s final instrument to be ready for spacecraft integration.
The CrIS instrument is an advanced operational sounder that provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications.
CrIS is a key instrument currently flying on the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (or JPSS-1) satellites, the first two in the Joint Polar Satellite System’s series of polar-orbiting satellites. CrIS represents a significant enhancement over NOAA's legacy infrared sounder—the High-Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS).
Data from the JPSS satellites feed daily weather models and tell us about atmospheric conditions needed to provide extreme weather forecasts several days in advance. CrIS will be among the instruments on the JPSS-2, -3 and -4 satellite missions.
The CrIS instrument was developed and built by L3Harris Technologies.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This interagency effort is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.
JPSS-2 Satellite Gets its Solar Array Installed
On July 26, in a clean room at the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) let out several loud pops as each of the five panels of its solar array detached from the body of the satellite and then unfolded, stretching out to its full 30-foot length. Under each panel, an engineer clad in a bunny suit flashed a thumbs up as latches clicked into place.
The deployment of the solar array, which had been installed three days earlier, marked the last major testing milestone of the weather satellite. JPSS-2 has now been boxed up and will be shipped to the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California for its Nov. 1 launch. The next time the solar array deploys will be in space.
“This is a culmination of seven years of work on this program,” said Scott Capehart, JPSS program director at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where the spacecraft is built and tested. “Its success establishes that we’re ready for launch.”
Once launched, the JPSS-2 satellite, like its predecessors Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20, will race around Earth from pole to pole, taking measurements and snapping images that help us plan for hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and other severe weather. The satellite will feed critical data to global weather forecast models.
“During stressful times, like running into an issue at the end of a long overnight shift, I always come back to the impact that JPSS-2 will have,” said Adelina Nastasoiu, an instrument systems engineer at Northrop Grumman. “The weather models it’s going to affect, the lives it’s going to save, and that it shares data freely with the entire world.”
JPSS-2 will also measure our oceans and atmosphere, map and monitor volcanoes and wildfires and tell us about the things that fill our air and lungs, like dust and smoke. Because of its wide swath, it will observe every spot on Earth at least twice a day.
In the clean room in Gilbert, the satellite sat upright, mounted on a rack on wheels. Multi-layered insulation resembling gold tinfoil blanketed the body of the spacecraft. Covers with “Remove before flight” signs protected each of its four instruments.
About 20 feet away, engineers checked connections and voltage on the spacecraft for JPSS-3, the next satellite in line to launch. And packed in boxes and stacked on wire shelves at the back of the clean room were the parts for JPSS-4, the final satellite in the JPSS series. Combined, the three satellites are expected to provide data into the 2030s.
Together, NASA and NOAA oversee the development, launch, testing, and operation of all the satellites in the JPSS program. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations, and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system, and launches the satellites, which NOAA operates.
Banner image: The JPSS-2 satellite deploys its solar array for the final time before launch at the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona. Credit: NOAA, NASA
NASA, NOAA Invite Media to Polar Orbiting Weather Satellite Launch
NASA is accepting media requests for launch coverage of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite. This is the third satellite in the JPSS series, which will capture data to improve weather forecasts, helping scientists predict and prepare for extreme weather events and climate change.
NASA and NOAA are targeting Nov. 1 for the JPSS-2 launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
U.S. and international media interested in attending this launch must apply no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 15. Media accreditation requests should be submitted at:
A copy of NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online. For questions about accreditation, please email: email@example.com. For other mission questions, please contact Kennedy’s newsroom: 321-867-2468.
Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 321-501-8425.
JPSS-2, which will be renamed NOAA-21 after reaching orbit, will join a constellation of JPSS satellites that orbit from the North to the South pole, circling Earth 14 times a day and providing a full view of the entire globe twice daily. The NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, and NOAA-20, previously known as JPSS-1, are both already in orbit. Each satellite carries at least four advanced instruments to measure weather and climate conditions on Earth.
Data from JPSS satellites feed numerical weather forecasting models and observe weather events including rainfall, snow, hurricanes, and environmental hazards such as forest fires and volcanic activity. These observations, which are critical to long-term forecasts, help people plan for extreme weather events, such as severe storms. JPSS satellites also monitor our oceans, measuring sea surface temperature and tracking sea ice and harmful algal blooms. They also provide important climate data on ozone and atmospheric temperature.
Launching with JPSS-2 is a secondary payload, the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID). LOFTID is a partnership between NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate and ULA. It will demonstrate inflatable heat shield technology that uses aerodynamic drag to slow down spacecraft in the most mass-efficient way. This technology could enable a variety of proposed NASA missions to destinations such as Mars, Venus, and Titan, as well as returning heavier payloads from low-Earth orbit. The Centaur – the second stage of the Atlas V rocket – will deliver JPSS-2 to orbit, perform a deorbit burn, and put the LOFTID re-entry vehicle on a spin-stabilized trajectory to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. LOFTID will then inflate and separate from the Centaur, where the re-entry vehicle is targeted for landing and recovery in the Pacific Ocean.
Together, NASA and NOAA partner in the development, launch, testing, and operation of all the satellites in the JPSS program. NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy manages launch. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations, and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system and launches the satellites, which NOAA operates. With this reliable national asset in place to provide critical data, NOAA and NASA can innovate the next generation of Earth-observing satellites, including NOAA’s next low-Earth Orbit operational satellite constellation.
JPSS-2 Begins Launch Processing
Preparations are looking up for the launch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system, and launches the satellites, which NOAA operates. Technicians recently lifted the satellite to a stand inside the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. On board are four advanced instruments that will measure weather and climate conditions on Earth. Launch is targeted for Nov. 1 atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3.
Launching with JPSS-2 is a secondary payload, known as Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID. LOFTID will demonstrate inflatable heat shield technology for atmospheric entry and re-entry. This technology could enable a variety of proposed NASA missions to destinations such as Mars, Venus, and Titan, as well as returning heavier payloads from low-Earth orbit.
Before launch, technicians will stack the JPSS-2 satellite onto a payload adapter canister containing the LOFTID reentry vehicle. Once complete, the assembly will be encapsulated in a protective payload fairing. After encapsulation, the team will transport the encapsulated spacecraft to Space Launch Complex-3 where a crane will hoist it up for attachment to the second stage of the Atlas V 401 rocket.
JPSS-2 is the third satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series. JPSS-2, which will be renamed NOAA-21 after reaching orbit, will join a constellation of JPSS satellites that orbit from the North to the South pole, circling Earth 14 times a day and providing a full view of the entire globe twice daily. The NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, and NOAA-20, previously known as JPSS-1, are both already in orbit.
NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is managing the launch service. Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website.
Photo credit: USSF 30th Space Wing/Steven Gerl