Second Next-Generation Weather Satellite To Be Launched By Lockheed Martin, Strengthening Weather Forecasting

The aspects of public safety and protection of property are directly impacted by timeliness and accuracy of weather forecasts. And forecasts depend on the quality of data that is available for the forecasters.

To that extent, the NOAA GOES-R Series of satellite is expected to augment the data which will aid in providing sharper, more detailed views of weather systems.

The NOAA’s GOES-S weather satellite, made by Lockheed Martin, was delivered to its Florida launch site recently. The spacecraft reached NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida from Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado in a U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy cargo plane. The scheduled launch of the satellite is in March of 2018 and till then, final processing of the satellite would be carried out at Astrotech Space Operations.

The full name of the NOAA’s next weather satellite is Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series.

After getting successfully launched into space and set in orbit, the new satellite is expected to join its sister satellite, GOES-16.  This existing satellite has already proved its worth in the area of forecasting of weather and has significantly enhanced the speed of forecasting, the accuracy of the reports and the detailing off the forecasts compared to the previous generation of satellites.

“Our team understands the important mission of this national asset especially after the year of severe weather that our country experienced,” said Tim Gasparrini, vice president and GOES-R Series program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “Progress continues with this second satellite in the series and we’re focused on performing the final tests and readying the satellite for a successful launch.”

Positioned at 137 degrees west longitude, over the American West Coast, once operational, the GOES-S is thee second of four of the next-generation geostationary weather satellites.

Severe storm warnings, maritime forecasts, seasonal predictions, drought outlooks and space weather predictions and short term weather forecasting would be supported by the new satellite by the data that it would send back to Earth. The lead time on thunderstorm and tornado warning would be increased and hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts would also be improved by the new technology that is being sent into space.

The spacecraft launch processing, in addition to the designing, building and testing of the satellite was the responsibility of Lockheed Martin. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket would be used for the launch of the GOES-S satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Solar Ultraviolet Imager and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper instruments, which have also been designed and built by Lockheed Martin, in addition to all of the four GOES-R Series satellites (R, S, T and U), will be launched by each spacecraft.

the GOES-R Series satellites will be funded, managed and operated NOAA. On behalf of NOAA< the acquisition and development of the GOES-R Series spacecraft and instruments is overseen by NASA.

(Adapted from


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