"Three, two, one and liftoff!" said a NASA commentator as the Atlas V rocket rumbled into the blue sky at 5:02 pm (2202 GMT) over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S). At 5:02 p.m. EST, a two-hour launch window will open, during which GOES-S will lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
An advanced satellite is heading to space as part of a system that's changing the severe weather game.
From there, it will provide fast, multi-spectral images of weather patterns affecting the Pacific Ocean as far west as New Zealand, including Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and, of course, the western United States. It will also provide high-resolution images above Alaska and nearby areas at high latitudes where the agency doesn't now have usable data from its "geostationary constellation".More news: Missouri GOP Blames George Soros for Governor's Blackmail Indictment
Stephen Volz, director for satellite and information services at NOAA, said GOES-R has "revolutionized" the way people view weather and environmental information and the entire constellation presents "a quantum leap above" prior generations.
"GOES-S increases the coverage of our nation and will contribute to the quality and timeliness of weather data - but it is also more than that." said Tim Gasparrini, GOES-R vice president and program manager at Lockheed Martin Space. GOES-S will be designated GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit.
"I'm even more excited about the work that's coming up for me and my colleagues, putting these new data to work for better forecasts and warnings for the American public", said Yoe, an official at the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation. The Lockheed Martin-built satellite will join GOES-East, now in orbit, to provide a broad, high-definition view of weather on Earth. The next-generation GOES-R series scans the Earth five times faster at four times the image resolution, with triple the number of data channels than previous GOES satellites for more reliable forecasts. He said the satellite also tracked the direction of the fires like never before, prompting first responders to later tell NOAA: "You saved lives". GOES-T is expected to launch in the 2020 timeframe and GOES-U will follow suit around 2024.
"These satellites are giving us the ability to look at storms as often as every 30 seconds, allowing forecasters to see storms as they're developing instead of as they've already happened".