S Satellite to Launch in NOAA-NASA Partnership


NASA along with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will launch the GOES-S satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 5:02 p.m. EST (22:02 GMT) for which, NASA will provide live feed via NASA TV.

This is the second of four advanced geostationary weather satellites scheduled to be launched into space. The two-hour launch window opens at 4:02 p.m.

The new GOES weather satellites feature a suite of sophisticated instruments that meteorologists say represent a "quantum leap" for forecasting accuracy.

It is noted that the satellite will work in tandem with GOES-R, which was successfully launched in November of 2016.

"The impact of the visualization, the actual videos, the movies coming out is really visceral", Steve Volz, NOAA's director for satellite and information services, said in the earlier conference.

After it launches, GOES-S will undergo six months of tests, then be operational late 2018. NASA oversees the acquisition and development of the GOES-R Series spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicle for NOAA. The satellite will take a picture of the entire western hemisphere every 15 minutes, the continental United States every 5 minutes, and two more picture settings for storms every 60 and 30 seconds.

Digital rendering of GOES-S, courtesy Lockheed Martin.

A United Launch Alliance rocket carried a Colorado-built satellite into orbit Thursday that's created to provide US weather forecasters unprecedented detail about severe weather formation and make improve air travel safety by tracking in-cloud lightning.

"When it. becomes operational later this year, GOES-S will see the west in true high-definition, and along with the remaining satellites in our GOES-R series, will extend the life of NOAA's geostationary satellite constellation through 2036", said Tim Walsh, acting director of NOAA's GOES-R program. The state-of-the-art satellite was able to spot wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma a year ago before emergency responders were even alerted. Rockets by United Launch Alliance, a venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, carried all those GOES. GOES-S will be designated GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit. GOES-16 also observed the uncertain path of Hurricanes Irma and the rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria in September.

"Those of us in the severe weather community are really excited about the data we're seeing from GOES-16 [GOES-East]", Kristin Calhoun, a research scientist with NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory, said during the conference.