S Satellite Roars Into Orbit

  • S Satellite Roars Into Orbit

S Satellite Roars Into Orbit

The American company United Launch Alliance (ULA) on Thursday held a launch site at Cape Canaveral (Florida) launch of a heavy launch vehicle Atlas V from the meteorological satellite GOES-S. Other GOES series satellites are scheduled to launch in the coming years to provide a continuous coverage if any satellite becomes inoperable, Schield said.

GOES-S is the second satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series of satellites, which have played a vital role in weather forecasting, storm tracking and meteorological research.

"GOES S increases the coverage of our nation and will contribute to the quality and timeliness of weather data - but it is also more than that." said Tim Gasparrini, GOES R vice president and program manager at Lockheed Martin Space. With data from GOES-17, and the already operational GOES-16, the two satellites will observe most of the Western Hemisphere.

The countdown is on at the Cape not only for a launch, but also a step forward in hurricane safety and forecasting.

The satellite should help improve forecasts for storms forming in the Pacific, and allow experts to see storms churning in high resolution.

Thursday's launch will orbit the second of the new hurricane-watchers. 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. Teams have two hours to launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration payload.

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.

Together, the new satellites represent "a quantum leap" above previous space-based weather stations, forecasters say.

"We have a good faring jettison, exposing the GOES-S to space for the first time", he said.

The new satellites, known collectively as the GOES-R series, will be phased in over several years, taking over from three older-generation GOES spacecraft now in orbit. The $10.8 billion cost includes the development, launch and operation of all four satellites as well as ground systems through 2036.

The rocket is one of the most reliable and widely used instruments in NASA's arsenal, operated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security's ULA launch service venture.