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The 2016-17 Independent Review Team report provides expert analysis of how NESDIS has addressed recent challenges and opportunities and its strategic path forward. This marks the third such review we've commissioned since 2012. We welcome you to read the NESDIS overview (PDF) and the full report (PDF).

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John Leslie
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JPSS-1 Has New Target Launch Date

September 1, 2017

JPSS-1 Spacecraft Photo
Credit: Ball Aerospace

The launch of JPSS-1, the first in a series of NOAA’s four next-generation operational polar-orbiting weather satellites that will give scientists the most advanced tools to aid in weather forecasting and earth observations, is scheduled for November 10 at 1:47 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 

“Hurricane Harvey is a stark reminder of the importance of the NOAA satellite program,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this disaster.”

These advanced Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites will serve as the backbone of NOAA’s weather forecasting system for the next 20 years, providing the reliable, global observations required to support accurate numerical weather forecasts up to seven days in advance.

The new launch date has given engineers extra time to complete testing of the spacecraft and instrument electronics and to finish work on the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder, one of the primary instruments on JPSS. The satellite carries five state-of-the-art instruments providing a comprehensive suite of earth observations. 

“The JPSS-1 team has done an incredible job getting this extremely capable satellite prepared for launch and ready to send back quality environmental data soon after it is in orbit,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

The satellite is scheduled to arrive in California just before the Labor Day weekend, where it will undergo final preparation before it is launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. When it reaches orbit, JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20.

Following launch, JPSS-1 will join Suomi NPP, the joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite giving the United States two, highly sophisticated satellites, each circling the Earth 14 times per day, providing full, global observations for U.S. weather prediction. Suomi NPP, which initially was planned as a research and risk reduction mission when it launched on October 28, 2011, became NOAA’s primary operational satellite for global weather observations on May 1, 2014.

Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 satellite bus and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, integrated all five of the spacecraft’s instruments and performed satellite-level testing and launch support. Raytheon Corporation built the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and built the common ground system. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument.

NOAA works in partnership with NASA on all JPSS missions, ensuring a continuous series of global weather data to secure a more "Weather-Ready” Nation.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Experts gather at NOAA conference to discuss how to use advanced data from next-generation weather satellites
Next month, top public and private sector environmental satellite experts from around the world will meet in New York to discuss how to best use the data coming from next-generation weather satellites, such as NOAA’s GOES-R and the NOAA-NASA Joint Polar Satellite System, also known as JPSS
Both systems are equipped with breakthrough technology, producing more and better data and incredibly detailed imagery, potentially leading to more accurate forecasts.
This year’s conference, A New Era for NOAA Environmental Satellites, is hosted by the NOAA Cooperative Science Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CREST), and will also showcase collaborative research between college students and NOAA scientists.
The sessions over the four days are open to press, and experts will be onsite for interviews.
NOAA Satellite Conference: A New Era for NOAA Environmental Satellites
  • Dr. Stephen Volz, acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction; assistant NOAA administrator, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service
  • David A. Grimes, president, World Meteorological Organization 
  • Julian Baez, president, WMO Regional Association III
  • Yoshishige Shirakawa, senior coordinator for satellite systems, Japan Meteorological Agency
  • Dr. Park Hoon, director general, National Meteorological Satellite Center, Korea Meteorological Administration
  • Dr. Antonio Divino Moura, deputy director, Brazilian National Institute for Space Research
  • Dr. Yang Jun, director general, national meteorological center, China Meteorological Administration
July 17 – 20, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Agenda available at
West 138th Street between Amsterdam and Convent Avenues
New York, New York
Subway: 1 train (IRT - Broadway Local) to West 137 Street - CCNY station




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