New US weather satellite launched from California

Features Associated Press

An advanced U.S. weather satellite designed to improve the accuracy of extended forecasts has been launched into polar orbit from California.

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The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:47 a.m. PST Saturday atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket.

The satellite is the first of four next-generation spacecraft for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Circling the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day, JPSS-1 carries a suite of five instruments intended to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather events three to seven days beforehand.

The satellite also will contribute to near-term weather forecasts, climate and ocean dynamics research, among many other uses.