One last pre-launch stretch for JPSS-2 solar array
It was a moment seven years in the making. While a crowd of team members looked on, a crew of engineers at a Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona performed the final major test of the JPSS-2 spacecraft before it departs for Vandenberg Space Force Base ahead of its planned November launch. After a series of loud bangs indicating the satellite’s solar array was free to extend, the accordion-like set of 2,000 solar cells stretched out 50 feet from the satellite and locked into place.
The satellite, to be renamed NOAA-21 upon reaching orbit, will continue the work of its predecessors NOAA-20 (formerly known as JPSS-1) and the NOAA-NASA Suomi-NPP. JPSS-2 will scan our planet as it orbits from the North to the South Pole, crossing the equator 14 times a day. From 512 miles above Earth, it will capture data that inform weather forecasts and provide important information on extreme weather events and climate change.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center