NOAA’s newest weather satellite, GOES-R, left its Colorado home where it was built and is now in Florida where it will undergo preparations for a Nov. 4 launch.
On Aug. 21, Lockheed Martin shipped the next-generation satellite aboard an Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transport plane to its Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Florida.
The first of four next-generation geostationary weather satellites, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series, or GOES-R, will provide a major improvement in quality, quantity and timeliness of weather data collected over the current GOES satellite system that monitors weather over North America.
“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.”
Lockheed Martin designed, built and tested the satellite and is responsible for spacecraft launch processing. GOES-R will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. In addition to the four GOES-R Series satellites (R, S, T and U), Lockheed Martin also designed and built the Solar Ultraviolet Imager and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper instruments that will fly aboard each spacecraft.
GOES-R’s data will support short-term weather forecasts and severe storm warnings, maritime forecasts, seasonal predictions, drought outlooks and space weather predictions. Additionally, GOES-R products will improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, and increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time.
NOAA funds, manages, and will operate the GOES-R Series satellites. NASA oversees the acquisition and development of the GOES-R spacecraft and instruments for NOAA. The program is co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.