NOAA’s GOES-R weather satellite delivered to Astrotech for final processing
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) newest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) has been delivered to the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Florida. The delivery of the spacecraft sets the stage for the satellite’s launch.
GOES-R departed Lockheed Martin’s facilities located in Colorado (the site where it was assembled) for Florida’s Space Coast on board a U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy Aircraft from Buckley Air Force Base.
“Our team understands the important mission of this national asset, and delivering it to the launch site moves it one step closer to providing an upgraded capability for NOAA and our nation,” said Tim Gasparrini, vice president and GOES-R Series program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “This is an exciting time for everyone on the GOES-R program and we’re focused on the work ahead of us here in Florida, performing the final tests and readying the satellite for a successful launch.”
The satellite was both built and tested by Lockheed Martin who also provided the spacecraft’s Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instruments.
If everything proceeds according to schedule, GOES-R will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 on Nov. 4, 2016.
GOES-R is the first of four geostationary weather satellites (GOES-R, S, T, and U) that are being fielded so as to improve weather-related data across North America. From its lofty vantage point, GOES-R and its compatriots will work to provide improved short-term forecasts which should help meteorologists in their efforts to issue more accurate warnings of severe weather.
NASA was in charge of acquiring and developing GOES-R on behalf of NOAA (who manages, funds, and will operate the satellite once it is in orbit). The GOES program is co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center located in Greenbelt, Maryland.
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, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.