NASA launches advanced weather satellite for western United States

NASA launches advanced weather satellite for western United States”

NASA assisted with the launch, but the satellite will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of a constellation that also includes GOES-R, now known as GOES-16.

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. The two-hour launch window opens at 4:02 p.m. Forecasters expected an 80 percent chance of good weather.

"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. An on-board thruster then will be used to put the weather station in a circular orbit 22,300 miles above the equator.

GOES-S Satellite will provide a high-definition feed of Western United States along with Alaska which earlier remained isolated from the scanners of other weather satellites. It will also provide high-resolution images above Alaska and nearby areas at high latitudes where the agency doesn't now have usable data from its "geostationary constellation".

Artist image of NOAA's GOES-S satellite.

Under the nose is an 11,000 pound, $220-million weather satellite.

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Built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the new GOES satellites feature an advanced high-resolution camera, a sensitive magnetometer, an ultraviolet X-ray sensor to measure solar radiation, an ultraviolet imager to constantly monitor the sun and sensors to measure charged particles from the sun that can affect communications and navigation.

Even as it was still being checked in orbit, GOES-16 provided invaluable data to firefighters battling blazes in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere last March and to Houston-area rescue teams in the flooded aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last August, according to officials.

And that translates into lives saved.

NASA has launched a cutting-edge weather satellite to help protect the Western United States from weather catastrophes such as wildfires, floods and mudslides.

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

Two more are scheduled for launch in the coming years: GOES-T in 2020 and GOES-U 2024. This will allow forecasters, for instance, to see smaller wildfires and more accurately track their movements.

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