VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — An advanced U.S. weather satellite designed to improve the accuracy of extended forecasts has been launched into polar orbit from California.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:47 a.m. PST Saturday atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket.

The satellite is the first of four next-generation spacecraft for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Circling the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day, JPSS-1 carries a suite of five instruments intended to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather events three to seven days beforehand.

rocket launch still nasa New US Weather Satellite Launched From California

(credit: United Launch Alliance)

The satellite also will contribute to near-term weather forecasts, climate and ocean dynamics research, among many other uses.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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