GOES-T Launched to Earth’s Geostationary Orbit


GOES, or Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, are NOAA spacecraft that continuously provide imagery and data on atmospheric conditions and solar activity (space weather). They aid in search and rescue operations and help forecasters predict the development of severe localized weather events such as storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and fog.

Located in geostationary orbit 35,790 km (22,240 mi) above Earth, GOES provides continuous, near real-time observations of the entire continental United States and adjacent oceans. These observations are a vital part of the nation’s weather, ocean and climate system, providing a unique view of the dynamic weather that affects all areas of our lives.

The GOES series of satellites, built by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, include the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the Magnetometer, the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensor (EXIS) and the Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS). All are controlled from the Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Maryland.

Since 1975, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) have provided continuous imagery and data on atmospheric conditions and solar activity. These observations have contributed to more accurate and timely weather forecasts, aided in the search and rescue of people in distress, and improved our understanding of long-term climate conditions.

GOES-13, formerly called the GEOS-5 satellite, was lost in a space debris collision in 2006 and is no longer operational. GOES-15, formerly known as GEOS-6, was made operational in 2007. GOES-16 and GOES-17 are currently operating in a full-time capacity.

The launch of GOES-18 is scheduled for April 29, 2020. The satellite will be positioned over the CONUS and is expected to reach its operational declaration in early 2021. Until then, ABI data files will be available with the caveat GOES-18 Preliminary, Non-Operational Data.

The GOES-T launch will mark the third time ULA has delivered a GOES satellite to orbit. The Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, which inherited the heritage of NASA’s original GOES satellites when ULA was formed 15 years ago, have launched every GOES satellite ever launched.

The Go-Go’s were a girl band that was a major influence on the punk rock movement. It was a style of music that rejected corporate radio and the Svengalis who tried to mold it. The Go-Go’s did it their own way, which was a big part of why their songs spoke to so many young people. We’re thrilled that the GOES-T mission will be powered by the Atlas V and Delta IV, our heritage launch vehicles. Those rockets have a long record of success and continue to demonstrate their value in the challenging environment of commercial satellite launches. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the GOES-T team and its partners to deliver this critically important new technology to our customers.