What NASA's newest satellite means for weather forecasting

New weather satellite built in Colorado will launch on Thursday

The GOES-S satellite itself is full of Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems, including specially designed Low Thrust Rockets (LTRs) for attitude control and station keeping, and super-efficient electric thrusters for station keeping and for decommissioning the satellite at the end of its service life. ULA's current and heritage Atlas and Delta rockets have launched every GOES satellite, first launching in 1975. It's meant to boost cooperation between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in forecasting, monitoring and responding to extreme weather events in the United States. The advanced weather satellite will give researchers and meteorologists unparalleled views of the U.S. West.

A third weather-monitoring satellite, JPSS-1, was launched on November 18, 2017 and now sits above the Arctic Circle.

It's the West's turn to get its own "eye in the sky". From there, it constantly will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

"The impact of the visualization, the actual videos, the movies coming out is really visceral", Steve Volz, NOAA's director for satellite and information services, said in the earlier conference.

Atlas V rocket carrying the GOES-S mission for NASA and NOAA lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST.

Once GOES S is positioned in a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) 22,300 miles above Earth in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES 17.

NASA is proud that the GOES-S satellite can detect hotspots for wildfires. It also tracked the paths of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, providing crucial data as to which areas would be impacted the greatest.

"Those of us in the severe weather community are really excited about the data we're seeing from GOES-16 [GOES-East]", Kristin Calhoun, a research scientist with NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory, said during the conference.

Two more satellites are part of this mission and scheduled for launch in 2020 and 2024. Development began in 2005, and the program will extend through 2036.

'Twas the night before launch!

The AJ-60A was designed specifically to augment the lifting power of the Atlas V, which is used to launch most USA national security, scientific and environmental monitoring spacecraft.

United Launch Alliance successfully sent the second next generation GOES satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit on behalf of NASA and NOAA on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

The US company United Launch Alliance fired from the Cape Canaveral, Florida state-of-the-art Atlas V, with a meteorological companion called GOES-S.

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