CAPE CANAVERAL — On the cusp of advancing U.S. weather forecasting, a powerful new satellite was shipped from its Denver factory to the Cape today in preparation for launch in November.
The first-of-its-kind observatory dubbed GOES R was flown aboard an Air Force C-5 transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin to the Kennedy Space Center to initiate its launch campaign.
Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is planned for Nov. 4 at 5:40 p.m. EDT (2140 GMT) from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41. The daily launch window extends 120 minutes.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R will orbit 22,300 miles above the equator in lockstep with the Americas to provide unprecedented new weather-forecast tools.
GOES R, plus three future sister-satellites, is a collaborative project between NASA — which ordered the spacecraft, instruments and launchers — and operator NOAA. Lockheed Martin built the craft.
“It will provide continuous imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s western hemisphere, and also support space weather prediction,” said Sandra Smalley, head of NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division.
“It’s the next generation (of GOES satellites) providing a major improvement in quality, quantity and timeliness of the data collected. Overall, it will provide visual and IR imagery, lightning mapping, space weather monitoring and solar imaging. It will accomplish all of this using six instruments.”
The primary instrument — the Advanced Baseline Imager — will show the motion of clouds and weather systems in visible and infrared bands that television meteorologists use in newscasts. The instrument will monitor water vapor, measure land and sea surface temperature and depict rainfall rates.
It will produce real-time estimates of central pressure and maximum sustained winds for tracking the intensity of hurricanes, and measure the key ingredients of severe weather like winds, cloud growth and lightning to improve tornado warnings.
The ABI will collect three times more data at four times better resolution while providing more than five times faster coverage than current GOES satellites, NOAA says.
GOES R also carries the first Geostationary Lightning Mapper. It will use a high-speed camera to detect in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning over the Americas and surrounding ocean areas. GLM promises to increase the warning time for severe weather.
GOES R also has instruments to monitor the Sun, detect solar storm eruptions and alert when the space weather arrives at Earth. Such storms can impact communications, disrupt power grids, threaten the health of astronauts and harm satellites.
The Atlas 5 rockets that will launch GOES R — and GOES S in 2018 — will fly in the 541 configuration with a five-meter fairing, four solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
A three-hour ascent featuring three burns by the Centaur will deliver the craft into a customized high-perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit of 3,600 by 22,000 miles at 12.9 degrees inclination. Five burns of the satellite’s main engine will bring the craft to geostationary orbit within 8 days of launch.
“They are huge satellites. GOES R is getting ready to launch, so it’s fully integrated, and GOES S is well along the way,” said Smalley.
“GOES R has had some technical challenges, so (GOES) S has basically been used as a spares spacecraft for (GOES) R, but they’ve made great progress.”
After touching down at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 3:16 p.m. today, the satellite will be taken to the commercial Astrotech processing facility in Titusville this evening to be unboxed from its shipping container for the start of final testing, fueling and encapsulation.
“This milestone is a great achievement for the entire GOES-R team, who have worked tirelessly to get the spacecraft to Florida,” said Greg Mandt, NOAA’s GOES R system program director. “Moving forward, we are focused on preparing this highly advanced weather satellite for its historic launch in just a few short months.”
GOES R will be renamed GOES 16 once it reaches geostationary orbit. Initially, controllers position the satellite at 89.5 degrees West longitude for an extensive year-long checkout and validation. It then awaits call-up to replace either the GOES West or GOES East operational observatories covering the U.S.
The GOES program dates back to 1975. Unlike today’s three-axis stabilized satellites, the first GOES were spin-stabilized and viewed Earth only about ten percent of the time.
The GOES R, S, T and U series is expected to sequentially extend geostationary weather satellite operations to 2036. Each satellite is capable of five years in-space storage and 10 years of use.
GOES T launches in 2019 and GOES U follows in 2024. Launch vehicles have not yet been assigned to those two spacecraft.
Currently, GOES 15 is the GOES West satellite at 135 degrees West longitude. It was launched as GOES P atop a Delta 4 rocket in 2010. GOES 13 — launched as GOES N in 2006 — is the GOES East satellite at 75 degrees West. The GOES 14 launched in 2009 as GOES O serves as the in-space spare, ready to be pressed into service at a moment’s notice.
Next-Generation Geostationary Satellite Being Readied for November Launch
DENVER, Aug. 23, 2016 – 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. Monday, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) 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 in Florida. In addition to the four GOES-R Series satellites (R, S, T and U), Lockheed Martin also designed and built the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) 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, Maryland.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 98,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
Quelle: Lockheed Martin
NASA Opens Media Accreditation for NOAA’s GOES-R November Launch
Media accreditation now is open for the launch of NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) weather and environmental satellite, currently planned for Nov. 4.
GOES-R will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The two-hour launch window opens at 5:40 p.m. EDT.
Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at Cape Canaveral and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, adjacent to Cape Canaveral. Credentialing deadlines are as follows:
- International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, for access to Cape Canaveral and Kennedy.
- International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, for access only to Kennedy.
- U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25.
All media accreditation requests should be submitted online at:
International media are required to upload a scanned copy of their I (media) visa and passport or green card with their accreditation requests. Media must present two forms of unexpired, government identification to enter Kennedy. One form must include a photo, such as a passport or driver’s license.
Questions about accreditation may be addressed to Jennifer Horner at firstname.lastname@example.org 321-867-6598. For other questions, or additional information, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.
GOES-R is the first of four satellites to be launched for NOAA in a new and advanced series of spacecraft. Once in geostationary orbit, it will be known as GOES-16 and will provide images of weather patterns and severe storms across the continental U.S. as regularly as every five minutes, with smaller, more detailed images of areas where storm activity is present as frequently as every 30 seconds. These images can be used to aid in formulating regular forecasts, severe weather outlooks, and watches and warnings, assessing lightning conditions, and improving maritime and aviation forecasts. It also will assist in long-term forecasting, such as seasonal predictions and drought outlooks. In addition, the satellite constantly will monitor space weather conditions, such as solar flares, to provide advance notice of potential communication and navigation disruptions. The satellite also will assist researchers in understanding the interactions between land, oceans, the atmosphere and climate.