GOES-R – America’s Next Generation Weather Satellite Takes Its First Flight, Gears Up for November Launch
Revolutionary Satellite Takes Its First Flight, Gears Up for November Launch
The next generation of “keeping an eye on the skies” is one step closer to flying high. It may not look like much coming off the back of a plane, but that white box will revolutionize the way we monitor the atmosphere. The GOES-R Satellite arrived in Florida earlier this week to begin preparations for its November launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The current GOES-East and GOES-West have been providing a continuous picture of atmospheric conditions for 40 years. Once launched, the new satellite will offer three times more data with four times greater resolution, five times faster than ever before. This means faster and more accurate data for NOAA’s National Weather Service and WeatherNation Meteorologists. GOES-R will improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time, and enhance space weather monitoring.
The satellite started its journey at . The 6,000 pound piece of equipment then hopped on a U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy cargo jet and flew from Buckley Air Force Base to the Sunshine State. The aircraft touched down on the same three-mile long runway previously used by NASA’s Space Shuttle.
Once off the runway, staff in protective clothing unwrap the GOES-R satellite in the “clean room.” The satellite has many parts that are sensitive to contamination, so engineers and technicians wear special clothing to protect the satellite in a room that is designed to keep it safe until it is encapsulated on top of the rocket for launch.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Karissa Klos
Images: Michael Starobin, NOAA/NASA