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Built by Northrop Grumman, the JPSS 2 spacecraft is the third satellite in NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System series of weather observatories. It follows the launch of the Suomi NPP and JPSS 1 weather satellites in 2011 and 2017, both on ULA’s now-retired Delta 2 rocket. JPSS 2 will gather data on Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, mapping and monitoring wildfires and volcanoes, and measuring dust and smoke in the air. JPSS 2 will also track the health of the ozone layer.

JPSS 2 will fly at an altitude of 512 miles (824 kilometers), allowing its four instruments to collect data over the same location on Earth twice per day, once in sunlight and once at nighttime, as the planet rotates underneath the satellite’s orbit.

The new satellite will be renamed NOAA 21, continuing a line of U.S. government weather satellites dating back to 1960. Forecasters use data from polar-orbiting satellites to help predict weather three to seven days in advance, while NOAA’s GOES weather satellites in geostationary orbit provide real-time monitoring of severe weather and tropical cyclones.

Alternate Names

  • 54234
  • JPSS2
  • NOAA 21

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2022-11-10
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 2525 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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