Weather satellite launched on Atlas V rocket

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The satellite is equipped with a thruster, which scientists will use to shift it into its final circular orbit over the equator.

At that altitude, satellites take 24 hours to complete one orbit and appear stationary in the sky.

NOAA's next weather satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series, GOES-S, which will be renamed GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit, will be positioned to boost forecast accuracy for the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii. Since the western United States is very mountainous, ground based radar is blocked in some areas.

Being the most advanced of satellite fleets, the GOES can detect things like advanced solar flares and give advanced tornado warnings. It joins its sibling 22,300 miles above the Earth, arming forecasters with high-definition data from nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. The satellite will provide more and better data than is now available over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental U.S. The same first-class service is now coming to the Pacific region.

The objective is to provide NOAA with more accurate and faster forecasts than ever before.

NOAA will be launching a new weather satellite on Thursday that will change the way meteorologists track the weather in the United States. The camera now has the ability to send back pictures at four times the resolution sent by previous such solutions.

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And that translates into lives saved.

About it reports a press-service of the company United Launch Alliance. Each satellite is valued at around $500 million, not counting development costs.

The first spacecraft in the series has been monitoring the Atlantic and East Coast for the past year. GOES-T is expected to launch in the 2020 timeframe and GOES-U will follow suit around 2024.

The first satellite, GOES-16 has already sent back unprecedented images of impending hurricanes and thunder-storm outbreaks that have helped the team with more accurate weather forecasting, and subsequent disaster management and planning.

NASA said the satellites in GOES (Geostationary Operation Environmental Satellites) are used to improve detection and obstruction of environmental events.

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