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UPDATE: Launch For GOES-T Pushed back to 2022

5 Aug 2021, 1:30 pm

The launch of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite T (GOES-T) mission is now slated for January 8, 2022 versus December of this year.

In a recent update, NASA, NOAA, and the United Launch Alliance reported they are working together to coordinate this new target date working with launch schedules for missions that would take off from Space Launch Complex-41, located at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.  With the current plan, the two-hour launch window for GOES-T will open at 4:33 p.m. EST and the satellite will soar into space on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket.

This is the third satellite of the GOES-R series which will assist in helping extend the current two-satellite system through December 2036.  The GOES satellite network helps meteorologists observe and predict local weather events, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, hurricanes, flash floods and other severe weather.

READ MORE: New Ground-Breaking Satellite Mission Plans Underway For Next-Generation Geostationary Satellite Mission

NOAA is working with NASA on the next-generation geostationary satellite mission called GeoXO, which will bring new capabilities in support of U.S. weather, ocean, and climate operations in the 2030s. COURTESY: NOAA


NOAA’s GOES-T will replace GOES-17 in the GOES West position, following a successful launch and checkout period, top NOAA officials announced.

The decision to place GOES-T into operational service as soon as possible after launch is a result of the blockage in the loop heat pipe of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the key instrument on GOES-17.

The blockage, which appeared not long after the satellite launched on March 1, 2018, restricted the flow of coolant in the pipes, causing the ABI electronics to overheat and reducing the sensitivity of its infrared sensors. Engineers, however, were able to mitigate the issue and enabled the ABI to deliver more than 98 percent of the data it was designed to provide.

GOES-T, which is the third satellite in NOAA’s advanced GOES-R series, will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches geostationary orbit. After it completes checkout of its instruments and systems, the new satellite will go into operation as GOES West and work in tandem with GOES-16, which operates in the GOES East position.

From its GOES West perch, 22,236 miles in space, GOES-18 will continue providing high-resolution satellite coverage of storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards that impact the western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.

The satellite will also continue capturing critical data over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental United States, and monitor tropical cyclones in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii.

Watch WeatherNation’s exclusive GOES-T preview below of the satellite, built in Littleton, CO.

About the author
Meredith is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist as designated by the American Meteorological Society.  She was born and raised in Cleveland but has worked from coast to coast covering almost every type of weather.  Meredith is a weather, space, and STEM journalist and has been live out in the field during destructive tropical storms on the Gulf Coast of Florida, raging wildfires in Southern Cali... Load Morefornia, and covered the wreckage from tornadoes in the Great Plains. In 2009, she reported on the damaging hail storm during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and in 2017, the historic California winter storms that produced record rain totals and devastating flash flooding.  Prior to joining WeatherNation, Meredith worked at KEYT/KKFX in Santa Barbara, CA, KOTA-TV in Rapid City, SD, WWSB-TV in Sarasota, FL, and began her career as an intern at WGN-TV in Chicago.  She was Santa Barbara's "Favorite Weathercaster of the Year" in 2016 and the Community Partner of the Year in 2017 for her volunteer work with Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties and awarded with the 2018 Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award. Meredith is the current chair of the American Meteorological Society's Station Scientist Committee, which focuses on raising greater awareness & outreach when it comes to science education for viewers.  She's also an accomplished journalist, producing weather and science stories including rocket launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the new GOES-16 satellite and it's impacts on weather forecasting.  Meredith was personally invited by NASA's Johnson Space Center to interview astronauts on the International Space Station and was the only meteorologist in the nation to do an exclusive report accompanying the GOES-West satellite from Colorado to Florida, reporting on and covering it's launch in 2018.  Meredith's also worked on features that took her paragliding along the coast, white water rafting in Northern California, learning to surf in the Pacific Ocean, and how to be an aerial photographer while flying a single engine plane! Say hi on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn!