The GOES spacecraft operates in geostationary orbit and continuously observes the continental United States, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. GOES data products are used by a diverse range of users, including the National Weather Service, commercial weather services, universities, the Department of Defense, and the global research community. In addition, GOES has been instrumental in improving numerical weather prediction models. GOES also helps scientists better understand the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
The GOES-S satellite will be the second in a series of geostationary weather satellites. These satellites will deliver more accurate and faster data on the earth’s climate and weather, including lightning and storm systems. Lockheed Martin shipped the satellite aboard an Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transport plane on Tuesday. It will now be sent to Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville for final pre-launch testing. GOES-S is expected to arrive in orbit in November.
The next GOES-R satellite is expected to launch in April 2024, on board a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The GOES-R satellite is the first of four next-generation geostationary weather satellites and will provide an enormous improvement in the quality of weather data. GOES satellites are part of NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system, which monitors the weather over North America.
The GOES-R Program includes four satellites, each supporting a particular task. NOAA manages the program, while NASA oversees the acquisition of spacecraft and instruments. NOAA operates the satellites and distributes the data worldwide. This cooperative effort between NASA and NOAA ensures the integrity of the data received from the satellites. For example, GOES-R satellites help forecast weather patterns and solar activity. The GOES-R Program is a four-satellite effort between NOAA and NASA.
GOES-R satellites are also critical for predicting global climate, but the new GOES-T satellite will provide real-time mapping of lightning activity and other weather-related issues. GOES-T will eventually become GOES-18 after it reaches geostationary orbit, and NOAA plans to put it into operational service in 2020. The new GOES satellites will continue to serve as a vital resource for forecasting weather.