In the latest developments, NASA has successfully launched its third in a series of next-generation weather satellites for the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental satellite called the GOES-T, was launched from the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It was confirmed that the spacecraft’s solar arrays were deployed successfully and the spacecraft was operating on its own power. The NASA Administrator Pam Melroy said that NASA was proud to support their joint agency partner, NOAA, and their mission to provide important data and imagery to the researchers and forecasters for tracking hazardous weather.
GOES programme helps in predicting space weather near Earth that can interfere with satellite electronics, GPS, and radio communications.
She further added that the main job of the GOES-R satellites is to help with weather prediction. These satellites also help NASA by producing observations. The collaboration of both agencies has brought about great benefits towards the understanding of the planet. This latest satellite will also be providing continuous coverage of weather and hazardous environmental conditions in the Western hemisphere.
Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the NASA Headquarters situated in Washington said that NASA was honoured to continue their work with NOAA on this successful and strategic partnership. Besides their work on spacecraft development and launch, NASA had supported science teams that were looking forward to the analysation of the precious data GOES-T will provide.
Once this GOES-T satellite is positioned in a geostationary orbit around 22,300 miles above Earth, it will be renamed GOES-18. It will be going into service over the US west coast and the Pacific Ocean once it completes a successful orbital checkout of its instruments and systems. This position is a key spot for the satellite as it will be able to observe weather sweeping in from the West to the East over the United States and will then give the upstream view of what is coming to the forecasters.
John Gagosian, director of NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division said that GOES satellites help them every day as they bring advanced new capabilities to aid the forecasters with better monitoring and predicting dangerous environmental conditions such as hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms, and fires. The launch management for this whole mission was provided by NASA’s Launch Services Program that is based in Kennedy Space Center in Florida.