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ERAU Students Hope 3rd Try Means Successful Launch of CubeSat

18 November 2017  
NASA/Glenn Benson

Saturday at 2:47 AM is the planned “go time."

Hopefully, the 3rd time’s the charm. NASA will attempt to launch the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) Saturday morning at 2:47 AM (MST) - yes, you read that right, 2:47 AM. Launches scheduled for last Tuesday and Wednesday mornings were scrubbed, the first due to equipment failure and the second due to upper atmosphere weather conditions. 

The JPSS-1, a polar-orbiting satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is also carrying a CubeSat developed by Embry Riddle students from the Prescott campus. 

CubeSats are small satellites - 10x10x10 cm (10 cm is slightly under 4 inches) and weighs no more than 1.33 kg, or 2.9 lbs. To give a comparison, the height of an iPhone 8 is 13.8 cm, but the CubeSat weighs almost ten times more than your iPhone. 

In the lab window at the campus STEM center, this whiteboard describes the mission:

Deborah Jackson is the Project Manager for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) CubeSat project, dubbed Eagle Sat. She confirmed that last Wednesday's launch was scrubbed, and that NASA has scheduled the next attempt for Saturday morning at 2:47 AM. 

Jackson explained that the launch must take place at 2:47 AM in order to enter the orbit at the proper time. 

Here is the release from NASA. (Times have been updated for MST ):

The launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) satellite, the first in a new series of four highly advanced National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites, now is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Launch coverage will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is targeted for 2:47 a.m. MST (1:47 a.m. PST).

NASA TV launch coverage begins at 2:15 a.m. and will conclude after the deployment of four small satellite missions, called CubeSats, which will accompany JPSS-1 as payload on the Delta II rocket. There is no planned post-launch news conference. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the spacecraft is verified.

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. JPSS is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA. The JPSS system will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days.

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

Additional launch day coverage will be available on Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 2:15 a.m. as countdown milestones occur. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at

To learn more about the JPSS-1 mission, visit:


Join the conversation and follow the JPSS-1 mission on social media by using Twitter and Facebook at:



Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.