Advanced NOAA Weather Satellite Launched

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-S.
pic by NASA/Kim Shiflett

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) has been launched.

The satellite will provide faster, more accurate and more detailed data, in near real-time, to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards that affect the western United States.

“We at NASA Science are proud to support our joint agency partner NOAA on today’s launch of GOES-S, a national asset that will impact lives across the Western Hemisphere each and every day,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, who attended today’s launch.

Once GOES-S is positioned in a geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES-17. Later this year, after undergoing a full checkout and validation of its six high-tech instruments, the new satellite will move to the GOES-West position and become operational. From there, it constantly will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

GOES-17 will work in tandem with GOES-16, the first satellite in NOAA’s new geostationary series, now at the GOES-East position. GOES-17 will extend observational high-resolution satellite coverage of the revolutionary new technology aboard GOES-16 to most of the Western Hemisphere, from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand, and from near the Arctic Circle to near the Antarctic Circle. The satellite will provide more and better data than is currently available over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental U.S.