This Thursday, November 10, NASA will launch a weather satellite called JPSS-2 into a polar Earth orbit. This environmental satellite will be accompanied by a test of a new inflatable heat shield, making this launch one well worth tuning in for.
We’ve got all the details on how you can watch the launch at home below.
The Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission is a cooperation between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to put a new satellite into a polar orbit around the Earth. From there, the satellite will join other NASA and NOAA satellites to monitor weather phenomena and atmospheric readings to help with weather forecasting and the prediction of extreme weather events like hurricanes.
The satellite will be launched using a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 (SLC-3) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. In addition to the satellite, the rocket will also be carrying an experimental piece of NASA technology called LOFTID. LOFTID, or Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, is an inflatable heat shield designed to keep craft safe from the heat of friction as they enter an atmosphere. It could be used in future missions to other planets like Mars or Venus, as well as being used for returning craft to Earth.
The launch of JPSS-2 had originally been scheduled for this past week on November 1, but it had to be delayed due to an issue with a battery on the launch vehicle.
“Both JPSS-2 and LOFTID remain healthy and ready for launch,” NASA wrote in an update. “A faulty battery on the Centaur upper stage of the Atlas V rocket delayed the launch. Technicians have activated a replacement and will exchange and retest the battery, clearing the way for the launch to proceed.”
The launch will be livestreamed by NASA on its NASA TV channel. Coverage is set to begin early in the morning of November 10, beginning at 3:45 a.m. ET (12:45 a.m. PT). The launch itself is scheduled for 4:25 a.m. ET (1:25 a.m. PT). The coverage should also include the test of the LOFTID shield.
You can watch the livestream either by using the video embedded at the top of this page or by heading to NASA’s YouTube page for the launch.