Spaceflight Insider

Photo Gallery: The launch of GOES-R

ula atlas v goesr chris giersch

The Atlas V with GOES-R before launch. Photo Credit: Chris Giersch / NASA Edge

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Lofting into space the most advanced weather satellite, United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket soared into the black. The workhorse delivered GOES-R to geostationary orbit some three hours later. The window for the Nov. 19 launch was an hour long, and ULA needed every minute of it as multiple issues cropped up postponing the liftoff to 6:42 p.m. EST (23:42 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 41.

The variant used for this launch was the Atlas V 541, as it had a five-meter payload fairing, four solid rocket motors, and a single engine Centaur upper stage. Once the countdown reached zero, the single Russian-built RD-180 engine at the bottom of the Atlas V common core booster powered up to full throttle. Moments later, the four boosters ignited and the nearly 200-foot (60-meter) tall vehicle leapt off the pad toward space.

GOES-R, which stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series, represents the fourth generation of weather monitoring satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This new generation of spacecraft will increase the amount of meteorological data collected from orbit, providing near real-time weather data. Three more GOES satellites will be launched through 2024.

GOES-R is the latest generation of National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA Earth observation satellites. The third generation GOES spacecraft series provides critical atmospheric, hydrologic, oceanic, climatic, solar, and space data. A key component aboard GOES-R is the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), a scanning radiometric imager capable of gathering weather imaging from across 16 disparate spectral bands—two in the visible spectrum, four near-infrared, and ten in the infrared band—providing three times more channels of data than the satellites that preceded it. GOES-R launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 on November 20, 2016.

Tagged:

⚠ Commenting Rules

Post Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *