December 4, 2017 – Lockheed Martin shipped the GOES-S satellite, NOAA’s next-generation weather satellite, from Denver to Cape Canaveral aboard a Lockheed Martin-built Air Force C-5 transport aircraft today.
NOAA GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1, 2018 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Atlas V was chosen because it has the right liftoff capability for the heavy weight requirements of the satellite. GOES-S will weigh over 11,000 pounds at launch.
Data from NOAA’s GOES satellites provides accurate real-time weather forecasts and early warning products to NOAA’s National Weather Service and other public and private sectors. The advanced spacecraft and instrument technology on the GOES-R series will vastly improve forecasting quality and timeliness, generating significant benefits to the U.S. and Western Hemisphere in the areas of public safety, severe weather monitoring, space weather prediction, ecosystems management, commerce and transportation.
GOES-S is the second satellite in NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R Series, which includes GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U. GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch and a number once they achieve geostationary orbit. GOES-R launched in November 2016 and is now GOES-16. GOES-S will be designated GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit.
GOES-16 will take its place as NOAA’s GOES-East satellite later this month, keeping an eye on the continental United States and the Atlantic Ocean. After a period of calibration and validation, GOES-17 will be operational as GOES-West, providing coverage of the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. Together, GOES-16 and GOES-17 will observe Earth from the west coast of Africa all the way to Guam.
NOAA funds, manages and will operate the GOES-R Series satellites. NASA oversees the acquisition and development of the GOES-R spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicle. The program is co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems is building the four satellites in the series (R, S, T and U), and is also responsible for designing and building the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instruments that will each fly aboard each of the spacecraft.
The University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) contributes the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS), which will measure energy output from the sun that can affect satellite operations, telecommunications, GPS navigation and power grids.