Sunday, November 20, 2016

Atlas V Rocket Launches Next-Gen GOES-R Weather Satellite

Atlas V rocket launch from Cape Canaveral with GOES-R satellie (Credit: United Launch Alliance) Click to Enlarge.
A satellite that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says will revolutionize forecasting of severe weather blasted off Saturday night from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop an Atlas V rocket.

At 6:42 p.m., as the day's launch window closed, the nearly 200-foot United Launch Alliance rocket bolted from Launch Complex 41 with more than 2.2 million pounds of thrust from a Russian main engine and four solid rocket boosters.

NOAA’s GOES-R satellite was deployed in orbit around 10:15 p.m. to complete a successful launch.

Dozens of TV meteorologists were at the Cape to see the launch and eager to take advantage of the satellite's capabilities once it officially enters service in about a year.

“What’s so exciting is that we’re going to be getting more data, more often, much more detailed, (in) higher resolution,” said Al Roker, host and weatherman on NBC’s “Today" show, in an interview with NASA TV.  “It gives us the opportunity to be able to give that information much more quickly to our viewers.  And the more lead time there is, the better it is for people.”

The $1 billion satellite built by Lockheed Martin is the first of four to fly as part of an $11 billion upgrade to NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite program, or GOES, over the next 20 years.

Read more at Atlas V Rocket Launches Next-Gen GOES-R Weather Satellite

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