Atlas V Launches NOAA's Newest GOES-S Weather Satellite

04 March, 2018, 03:02 | Author: Courtney Reynolds
  • Riding 2.1 million pounds of thrust from its RD-180 main engine and four solid rocket boosters the Atlas 5 exceeds the speed of sound

Rockets by United Launch Alliance, a venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, carried all those GOES.

The GOES-S satellite thundered toward orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket, slicing through a hazy late afternoon sky.

GOES 17 will work in tandem with GOES 16, the first satellite in NOAA's new GEO series, now at the GOES-East position.

GOES-R, which was renamed GOES-16 upon reaching orbit, "it is already proving to be a game-changer with much more refined, higher quality data for faster, more accurate weather forecasts, warnings and alerts", Volz said.

Today, at 5:02 p.m. ET, NOAA's GOES-S weather satellite, built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket and has successfully established communications. "Along with its easterly partner GOES-16, GOES-S will help communities and businesses prepare for potentially unsafe weather events and minimize the hazard to American families and economies".

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The satellite, known as Hispasat 30W-6, is a 12,000-pound spacecraft that will provide television, broadband and other communications services to the Americas and Europe.

These next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES, are "a quantum leap above" the federal agency's previous weather sentinels, Volz said. Officials believe the triad of advanced weather satellites will prove invaluable when it comes to monitoring risky weather events and ultimately saving lives.

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

As Hurricane Harvey approached the Texas coast, the satellite revealed the clouds sinking in the eye and the eye expanding as the storm morphed from a category 2 to 4, Uccellini said. The state-of-the-art satellite was able to spot wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma a year ago before emergency responders were even alerted. GOES-16 also observed the uncertain path of Hurricanes Irma and the rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria in September.

Two more satellites are part of this mission and scheduled for launch in 2020 and 2024. Once the satellite is fully operational, later this year, it will hover over the western US and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, NASA said.



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