The Delta II rocket can be configured with a variable number of Alliance Techsystems (ATK) graphite-epoxy solid rocket boosters.
JPSS-1 is 14.8 feet in diameter (4.5 meters) and weighs 5,060 pounds (roughly 2,300 kilograms), and was one of the last NASA satellites scheduled to be powered into orbit by the Delta II rocket system.
A joint project of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, JPSS-1 is created to provide readings for atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash and fire detection.
JPSS-1, to be renamed NOAA-20, will undergo a 3-month checkout period in space before becoming operational some 512 miles above Earth, officials said.
The prediction models and advanced forecasts are key to issuing warnings ahead of major hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria, which struck the U.S. this year.
Circling the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day, JPSS-1 carries a suite of five instruments meant to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather events three to seven days beforehand.
Joe Pica, Office of Observations director for NOAA's National Weather Service, said those who work at the agency were eagerly awaiting the new satellite.
Forecasters are hoping a satellite will help them track future hurricanes.
Officials touted the satellite's instruments, which have been successfully demonstrated on a predecessor prototype that is still active, the Suomi NPP satellite.
The new satellite and its five advanced instruments will be welcome tools for a variety of purposes including spotting fires and volcanic eruptions, assessing floods and more.
All the data collected by the satellites are free and shared with other weather forecasting operations around the world and climate change researchers.