Spaceflight Insider

Launch of GOES-R likely delayed by Hurricane Matthew

NOAA GOES-R spacecraft Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 photo credit Jason Rhian SpaceFlight Insider

GOES-R. (Click to enlarge) Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance (ULA) will likely have to wait before it sends the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-R satellite on its way to orbit. The recent close brush with Hurricane Matthew on Friday, Oct. 7, has caused Cape Canaveral operations to be suspended.

Prior to the storm’s approach, the Colorado-based company had planned to launch GOES-R atop an Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida on Nov. 4.

“Due to Hurricane Matthew, the integrated team is evaluating the impact to the Atlas V GOES-R mission. Preliminary indicators show [the] launch may be delayed a few days from the planned ILC of Nov. 4. Cape Canaveral operations have been temporarily suspended. A comprehensive assessment of the manifest will be completed when normal operations resume,” ULA’s Lyn Chassagne told SpaceFlight Insider.

Numerous buildings were damaged in and around Cape Canaveral when Hurricane Matthew passed over the Cape and nearby Kennedy Space Center.

GOES-R is based on the A2100 bus and is planned to be operational in orbit for a period of up to 10 years (after it has completed a five-year on-orbit storage period). If everything goes as planned, GOES-R should provide near-continuous observations of the Earth. In comparison to the current GOES fleet, GOES-R should provide a two order of magnitude improvement in services.



Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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