04 March, 2018
GOES-S, the second satellite in the GOES-R series, is expected to launch today in a two hour window starting at 5:02 pm ET in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The second of this duo, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (@noaa) next-generation weather satellite - GOES-S - launches into space tomorrow! ULA's current and heritage Atlas and Delta rockets have launched every GOES satellite, first launching in 1975. The GOES weather satellite (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) will be positioned to provide data to the West Coast of the US after it's carried into orbit by one of the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets.
Under the nose is an 11,000 pound, $220-million weather satellite. "There are unique aspects of these intense Pacific storms that we'll be able to observe more accurately and use in our forecast process".
In addition to high-resolution images of the West Coast, officials say the new GOES weather satellite will help them track severe weather such as cyclones, fog, and even wildfires, which plague the western US every year. It also tracked the paths of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, providing crucial data as to which areas would be impacted the greatest. GOES-S will be designated GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit. "As is evident with the performance of GOES-16 on orbit, we are gaining insight into our weather like never before". The state-of-the-art satellite was able to spot wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma past year before emergency responders were even alerted. Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett GOES-S mission managers confirmed at 8:58 p.m. the spacecraft's solar arrays successfully deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.
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Volz also hailed GOES-16's imagery as "really visceral" at an earlier news conference. "They will have detailed, tactical information about a fire and where it's likely to go based on winds and intensity". "It just takes them much more rapidly and in many different colors and with much better resolution than the past imagers". 'It allows the researchers to see the dynamics in a way that just looking at numbers just doesn't reveal - the visual impact is remarkable'. After about six months at that latitude preparing its instruments and running checks, it will move to its final vantage point over the eastern Pacific Ocean, taking on the official name GOES-West.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - Thursday, March 1, 4:30 p.m. - Coverage of GOES-S launch. Several other nations share weather satellite data with each other and NOAA to provide more complete coverage. "And NOAA's satellite data provides the backbone for the global observing system, and is the critical element for weather forecasting in the extended ranges".
Harris' responsibilities, however, don't end with launch as it also manages GOES ground systems, which receive and interpret data from the satellites for dissemination to forecasters, scientists and others.