A state-of-the-art weather satellite launched Tuesday, March 1 from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral in Florida that will dramatically improve weather forecasting and touch the lives of every American.
Called GOES-T, or Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-T, the new spacecraft is the third in a new generation of weather satellites for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the government agency responsible for accurate weather forecasting. The data provided by these satellites is used by forecasters across the country, such as your local TV weather presenter.
This particular satellite, GOES-T, will be placed over the Pacific region of the United States and will replace GOES-S, which was launched in 2018. Lockheed Martin manufactured the satellite in Littleton, Colorado, and was shipped to its seaside launch site aboard a US Air Force C-5M Galaxy aircraft, according to Lockheed Martin.
“The GOES-T launch is the culmination of innovative engineering, science and strong teamwork between NASA, NOAA and Lockheed Martin,” said Jagdeep Shergill, Lochead of the GOES-R-series program of kheed Martin.
“With the impact of climate change on weather patterns around the world, the work of satellites like GOES-T is more crucial than ever, to help keep people safe now and in the future,” Shergill said.
In addition to vital climate monitoring, the spacecraft also includes NOAA’s Search and Rescue Satellite-Assisted (SARSAT) system, which allows users of certain devices to send a distress signal from the most remote locations. inhospitable to Earth, according to a Lockheed Martin press release. . According to the SARSAT website, the system saved 330 people in the United States in 2021 alone.
“Each rescue shows that the SARSAT system is working as intended,” said Steve Volz, Ph.D., NOAA assistant administrator for satellite and information service. “Its lifesaving capability is built on four decades of teamwork with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, NASA, and our international partners.
Although the spacecraft is operated by NOAA, NASA assumes responsibility for the design, construction and launch, continuing a decades-long history of partnership between the two agencies. NASA’s Launch Services Program, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, was responsible for selecting the launch vehicle and overseeing launch services.
The Atlas V rocket was chosen by NASA, built by United Launch Alliance at its manufacturing facility in Decatur, Alabama. Four solid rocket boosters built by Northrop Grumman were used to increase liftoff thrust and have sufficient capacity to launch the GOES-T mission.
The GOES-T mission will originate from Space Launch Complex-41, home of Atlas V launch operations. SLC-41 was the launch site for the previous two GOES missions and launched missions to destinations across the solar system.
This launch marked the 149and mission for United Launch Alliance, with 100% mission success. Besides, it was the 92n/a launch of the Atlas V rocket, with all missions declared successful by customers.
“Thank you to NASA, NOAA and our mission partners for your teamwork in launching this important mission. This successful launch adds to the GOES-R series, the Weather Observing and Environmental Monitoring System most sophisticated in the Western Hemisphere,” said Gary Wentz, vice president of government and business programs at ULA.
“The Atlas V delivered GOES-T directly to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Orbital delivery accurately placed the spacecraft closer to its final destination, which preserves the satellite’s fuel supply and allows longer mission life,” Wentz said.
NOAA expects the GOES-T satellite to complete in-orbit checkouts and become operational by early 2023, adding to the nation’s fleet of climate observation and reporting satellites, according to the ‘agency. The spacecraft is expected to save lives and serve the general public throughout its operational life, from early warning of impending natural disasters to monitoring distress signals from the ground.
“NOAA’s geostationary satellite system provides the only continuous coverage of the Western Hemisphere, enabling forecasters to issue warnings to protect the lives and property of the one billion people who live and work in the Americas,” Volz said.