ULA Orbits Advanced Weather Satellite for NOAA

ULA Orbits Advanced Weather Satellite for NOAA

Kerry Wise
March 3, 2018

NASA has sent over a dozen GOES-R satellites in its constellation at the geosynchronous orbit that was flagged off by the American space agency in 1975.

GOES-S mission managers confirmed that its solar arrays successfully deployed at 8:58 p.m. EST and the spacecraft was operating on its own power. This represents a necessary upgrade to NOAA's current weather satellites' repertoire; The Verge reports older satellites are still carrying 1990s-era imaging technology.

The first spacecraft in the series has been monitoring the Atlantic and East Coast for the past year. The same first-class service is now coming to the Pacific region.

GOES S will give us a true, high definition look west the western half of the United States, including Alaska.

Once GOES S is positioned in a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) 22,300 miles above Earth in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES 17. Meteorologists at the Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral are forecasting an 80% chance of good weather during the time of the Atlas V's launch window.

The weather service's Jim Yoe said on NASA TV that he was "really excited" to see his first launch in person. The satellite will provide more and better data than now available over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental United States. The camera now has the ability to send back pictures at four times the resolution sent by previous such solutions.

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A United Launch Alliance rocket carried a Colorado-built satellite into orbit Thursday that's created to provide US weather forecasters unprecedented detail about severe weather formation and make improve air travel safety by tracking in-cloud lightning.

The new satellite will be called GOES-West when it becomes operational later this year.

NOAA funds, manages and plans to operate the GOES-R Series satellites.

Tory Bruno, the president and CEO of United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and also observed the uncertain path of Hurricanes Irma and the rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria in September.

Stephen Volz, NOAA's acting assistant secretary for environmental observation & prediction, said GOES-16 has helped the weather industry take a huge step forward in its predictive capabilities.