NASA chooses ULA to launch a weather satellite

The GOES-R series of weather satellites provide meteorologists with high resolution data and images.

NASA’s Launch Services Program announced that it has selected the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V vehicle to launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-T mission, the penultimate satellite in the GOES constellation.

“ULA is pleased once again to be selected to launch a GOES mission and we look forward to working with our mission partners at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on this important launch,” said Tory Bruno, President and CEO of ULA. executive officer. “ULA and its historic vehicles have a long history with the GOES program and have launched all 17 operational missions to date.”

The GOES-T mission is scheduled to launch in December 2021 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida. This mission will be launched aboard an Atlas V 541 configuration rocket.

GOES-T is the third of the next generation of weather satellites operated by NOAA, providing sequence to the GOES system. The GOES-R series (including GOES-R, -S, -T and -U) provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment, real-time mapping of total lightning activity and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

The GOES-S weather satellite was launched on March 1, 2018. It then became operational as GOES-West in February this year.

Initial timeline showing the deployment of the GOES-R series of weather satellites.  Image: NOAA
Initial timeline showing the deployment of the GOES-R series of weather satellites. Image: NOAA

When GOES-T is launched, it will have an expected useful life of 15 years; 10 operational which are operational after five years of orbit replacement. The launch of GOES-T, originally scheduled for 2020, has been delayed due to an anomaly that has been identified on GOES-S, NOAA is implementing ABI radiator modifications for GOES-T and GOES-U to reduce the risk of a cooling system fault reoccurring.


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