The January 2017 launch schedule that was initially established for the launch of the Ball Aerospace built Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) 1 has been shifted out for two months, this according to John Leslie, the spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Leslie made his statement on August 5th and indicated that due to recent test of the flight and ground systems, as well as a long look at the production issues that remain to be completed, the January launch date became an unrealistic date to meet; hence, the move to March of 2017. JPSS 1, when at the ready, will hopefully depart Earth from Vandenberg AFB in California aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket.
There had been some concerns over the January launch date by GAO's David Powner, who happens to be the Director of Information Technology Management at the agency. One of the satellite's instruments, the ground systems, as well as some of the craft's milestones, had been missed, according to information at a July 7th hearing of the House Science Committee in Washington DC.
A subsequent gap in weather data availability due to a rescheduled launch always draws concerns regarding forecasting accuracy, especially given the dire possibility that the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite's Technology Microwave Sounder instrument could fail within the not-too-distant future.