ULA Atlas V rocket launches NOAA, NASA weather satellite

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket has successfully launched the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – T mission for NOAA, NASA, and NASA’s Launch Services Program on March 1st, 2022.

Liftoff took place at 4:38 P.M. from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS). GOES-T is a powerful weather satellite that will be responsible for monitoring weather patterns and improving forecasts across the Western United States and North America, including Alaska and Hawaii. GOES-T was manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, and is the third satellite in the GOES-R series. The two previous missions, GOES-16 (GOES-R) and GOES-17 (GOES-S), also launched aboard Atlas V rockets in 2016 and 2018. Once GOES-T reaches its final orbit, it will become GOES-18 and replace GOES-17, which experienced significant issues with its primary camera soon after launch. 

(Richard Angle)

All GOES satellites are launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Once orbit-raising is complete, the satellites match the speed of Earth’s rotation, appearing to hover motionless over a given region from the ground. In the case of GOES-T, the satellite will provide enhanced imagery of the Western hemisphere.

Once operational, GOES-T will monitor weather patterns and forecasts, hoping to provide Americans with life-saving information on climate change and natural disasters. Dan Lindsey, a NOAA GOES-R program scientist, stated in an interview that GOES-18 will deliver 60 times more imagery than the previous generation the GOES-R series is replacing. The satellite will become operational around October 2022 and is expected to start delivering actionable data and imagery by 2023 after a several-month commissioning process. GOES-T is ULA’s second launch of 2022 and the 92nd launch of its Atlas V rocket.

ULA also managed to squeeze Atlas V’s GOES-T launch in less than 48 hours before SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 Starlink mission, which is set to lift off no earlier than (NET) Thursday morning, March 3rd from a pad just two miles (~3 km) to the north.

Atlas V 541 launches GOES-T. (Richard Angle)
Monica Pappas: Monica Pappas is a space flight enthusiast living on Florida's Space Coast. As a spaceflight reporter, her goal is to share stories about established and upcoming spaceflight companies. She hopes to share her excitement for the tremendous changes coming in the next few years for human spaceflight.
Related Post
Disqus Comments Loading...