NASA Television Coverage Set For Weather Satellite Science Briefing, Launch

The launch of NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is scheduled for March 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles for the GOES-R Series program. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

February 20, 2018 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) newest weather satellite, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S), is scheduled to launch Thursday, March 1. The launch, as well as prelaunch and science briefings on Tuesday, February 27, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

At 3:02 p.m. MST March 1, a two-hour launch window will open, during which GOES-S will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Launch coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. MST. 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.

GOES-S is the second in the GOES-R Series of weather satellites that includes GOES-R (now GOES-16), -S, -T and -U. The advanced satellites, built by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, provide accurate real-time weather forecasts and early warning products to NOAA’s National Weather Service and other public and private sectors.

GOES-S will be renamed GOES-17 when it reaches geostationary orbit. Once the satellite is declared operational, late this year, it will occupy NOAA’s GOES-West position and provide data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, Mexico, Central America and the Pacific Ocean, all the way to New Zealand.

Prelaunch And Science Briefings

NASA TV will air two GOES-S news briefings on February 27 from the Press Site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The prelaunch news conference will be held at 11 a.m. MST. Participants will be:

  • Stephen Volz, director for satellite and information services at NOAA

  • Tim Walsh, acting GOES-R system program director at NOAA

  • Sandra Smalley, director of NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division

  • Tim Dunn, launch director at Kennedy

  • Scott Messer, flight director at United Launch Alliance

  • Clay Flinn, launch weather officer for the 45th Weather Squadron at CCAFS

  • The prelaunch news conference will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by a science briefing. Participants will be:

  • Dan Lindsey, GOES-R senior scientific advisor at NOAA

  • Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service at NOAA

  • George Morrow, deputy director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Jim Roberts, scientist with the Earth System Research Laboratory of NOAA’s Office of Atmospheric Research

  • Kristin Calhoun, research scientist with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

  • Media can ask questions during the briefings via Twitter, using the hashtag #askNASA.

    There is no planned post-launch news conference.

    Audio of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, mission audio, the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

    Information on media accreditation for the launch is available at: