Published: Mon, March 05, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

NASA will launch next generation GEOS-S satellite today

NASA will launch next generation GEOS-S satellite today

The new satellite, named GOES-S at present and to be renamed GOES-17 once it reaches orbit, is the second member of a new generation of weather satellites that will provide accurate data for tracking storms, wildfires, cyclones and other severe weather conditions in the western part of the US once it becomes fully functional later this year.

Built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the new GOES satellites feature an advanced high-resolution camera, a sensitive magnetometer, an ultraviolet X-ray sensor to measure solar radiation, an ultraviolet imager to constantly monitor the sun and sensors to measure charged particles from the sun that can affect communications and navigation.

The launch is scheduled for 5:02 p.m.

Being the most advanced of satellite fleets, the GOES can detect things like advanced solar flares and give advanced tornado warnings.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will operate GOES-S in partnership with NASA.

The launch of the new satellite will be streamed on the FOX31 and Channel 2 Facebook pages.

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But the satellites don't just look at storms, Walsh said, noting that previous images by GOES-16 picked up on fire activity in California before authorities had even been alerted.

The new satellite will be called GOES-West when it becomes operational later this year. GOES-16 also observed the uncertain path of Hurricanes Irma and the rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria in September. These two satellites will together offer the most comprehensive picture for satellite monitoring over the United States in history.

The satellite will be able to scan each spot below it every 5 minutes, or every 1 minute to 30 seconds on special focus areas - in the latter case, for developing weather events.

With these two new satellites, NOAA's high-definition coverage will stretch from the Atlantic near West Africa, a hotbed for hurricane formation, all the way across the US and the Pacific out to New Zealand. NOAA, NASA, universities and private sector researchers will use the data and results to craft the next GOES series. It is expected that the satellite will receive more accurate information on storm disasters such as storms, hurricanes, floods.

"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.

OnceGOES-Sis positioned in a geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES-17.

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