JPSS-2 satellite (Credit: NOAA)
WASHINGTON (NOAA PR) — When the second satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series launches to space in 2022, it will do so with a secondary NASA payload, an inflatable decelerator technology designed to one day land humans on Mars.
JPSS-2 is a continuation of the JPSS series of satellites. Working in tandem with NOAA-20, it will capture precise observations of the world’s atmosphere, land and waters, and provide data that inform seven-day forecasts and extreme weather events.
Flying as a piggyback mission will be NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID. The decelerator is built to one day carry heavy payloads through the thin atmosphere of Mars and to recover booster rockets after launch. But NASA must first test the technology’s ability to survive the incredible heat and speeds of re-entry to Earth. LOFTID is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and managed by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Beyond LOFTID, NOAA will not pursue additional rideshare components with JPSS-2, due to the mission’s complexity and cost, according to a top NOAA satellite official.
“Our team looked at the cost to the government of doing the additional ...