Atlas V rocket launches GOES-R weather satellite from Cape Canaveral

Atlas V rocket launches GOES-R weather satellite from Cape Canaveral

Not only will it be five times faster than current satellites, the GOES-R will gather three times more data and have four times better resolution.

"The next generation of weather satellites is finally here", said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.

The satellite will travel into space aboard a United Launch Alliance rocket.

Saturday night's launch has a one hour window, and the Sun will be four degrees below the horizon at the start of the launch window as seen from the Cape.

The satellite rests on top of an Atlas 5 rocket developed by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co.

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- This weekend a new weather satellite launching into space promises to be a game changer for weather forecasters.

GOES-R satellites will be in a geostationary orbit 22,500 miles above the Earth, always looking down and monitoring the US and western hemisphere. Finally, an onboard magnetometer and Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS) package will chronicle current radiation hazards to satellites and astronauts.

The agency will launch the GOES-R satellite from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas V 541 rocket. There were a couple of launch delays in the last couple of months.

The decision was made after a launch readiness review at the space center.

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"Really a quantum leap above any satellite NOAA has ever flown", said Stephen Volz, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's director of satellites.

The biggest improvement over the satellites now being used is higher-resolution imagery.

A rendering of GOES-R. "I think we will be seeing advances that we can't even anticipate right now".

Learn more about the ABI. It is equipped with a camera that can take an image 200 times per second, allowing scientists to see lightning fields across the entire US and in clouds above the open ocean. Improved forecasting will help pilots avoid bad weather and help rocket scientists know when to call off a launch.

"So in a sense, it's like watching it with a camera in real time so they can really watch what's going on, how it's unfolding and therefore make much more precise warnings of the significant weather events that are coming on". Please see our terms of service for more information.

CSU scientists, along with NASA and NOAA researchers, helped in developing new tools and products in support of the mission.

Views down into a hurricane's eye wall will help forecasters gauge if a storm is strengthening or weakening. Monitoring of solar activity will also be improved. In the ocean, and out of radar's reach, they are blind.

Another cool feature of the new satellite is what as known as a GLM, or Geostationary Lightning Mapper. This gives the satellites a continuous view of the continental U.S. Seven people were killed in Florida, including two Palm Beach County residents.

To do this, GOES-R - which stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R - will scan Earth's skies five times faster than the other GOES satellites now in orbit, with four times the spatial resolution. So, the satellite images you see from space now are thanks to GOES.

"We're excited", said Pica, who then echoed an oft-heard phrase Friday.