United Launch Alliance Set To Launch GOES-S Satellite In March.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket will deliver the GOES-S spacecraft, the second in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series, into an optimized geosynchronous transfer orbit on March 1st, 2018. Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida with the launch window opening at 5:02 PM local time.

ULA GOES-S mission patch logo
GOES-S mission patch logo

GOES satellites, a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA to develop, launch and operate the spacecraft, have played a vital role in weather forecasting, storm tracking, and meteorological research since the first GOES was launched on a Delta rocket in 1975. ULA’s Atlas and Delta rockets have launched every GOES satellite.

GOES-S will be operated from a vantage point 22,300 miles above Earth to cover the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii, providing unprecedented advancements in the clarity and timeliness of observations over the region. The satellite’s instruments will collect vivid imagery every 30 seconds and detailed atmospheric measurements to monitor weather patterns and severe storms. Once operational, the satellite will be renamed GOES-West to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog and other hazards that threaten the western U.S.

It will work in tandem with the GOES-R satellite that was successfully launched by an Atlas V on Nov. 19, 2016, and now operates as the GOESEast observatory.

The next-generation GOES-R series, built by Lockheed Martin, scans the Earth five times faster at four times the image resolution, with triple the number of data channels than previous GOES satellites for more reliable forecasts.

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