NOAA to launch final GOES satellite into space Tuesday 🛰️

The launch is scheduled to take place Tuesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Crews transport NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-U) from the Astrotech Space Operations facility to the SpaceX hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning on Friday, June 14, 2024, with the operation finishing early Saturday, June 15, 2024. (NASA)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expected to launch the last satellite of their ‘GOES-R’ series Tuesday evening.

Deemed ‘GOES-U’, this final addition will aim to help prepare for and track weather both on Earth and in space.

According to a news release, the two-hour launch window opens at 4:16 p.m. CDT Tuesday, June 25. The satellite will launch into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) fleet is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA that started operations back in 1975. According to NASA, GOES satellites orbit more than 22 thousand miles above the Earth’s equator and travel at the same speed as the Earth’s rotation.

The GOES-R satellites specifically provide valuable and continuous coverage of the Western Hemisphere. Forecasters across the country, including the KSAT Weather Authority team, use satellite images on a daily basis to monitor the ever-changing weather and even track tropical systems. The first satellite in the series, GOES-16, was launched back in 2016, followed by the launch of two more GOES satellites (GOES-17 and GOES-18) in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

On top of providing vital information that allows forecasters to track weather systems and meteorological phenomena, this GOES-U satellite is also equipped with a coronagraph. This instrument will allow scientists to view the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere to detect coronal mass ejections (which were a contributing factor in the geomagnetic storm that allowed some San Antonians to witness the aurora borealis back in May!).

Meteorologist Mia Montgomery interviewed Bill Line, a research meteorologist with NOAA, on GMSA at 9 Tuesday morning about the launch. Watch the interview:

About the Author

Meteorologist Mia Montgomery joined the KSAT Weather Authority Team in September 2022. As a Floresville native, Mia grew up in the San Antonio area and always knew that she wanted to return home. She previously worked as a meteorologist at KBTX in Bryan-College Station and is a fourth-generation Aggie.

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