nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Next-Generation Weather Satellite Launches to Track Extreme Storms

04 March 2018, 03:57 | Ruby West

NOAA to get new weapon in wildfire battle with satellite launch

New weather satellite built in Colorado will launch on Thursday

NOAA's next weather satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series, GOES-S, which will be renamed GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit, will be positioned to boost forecast accuracy for the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii. The Atlas V rocket was rolled out to the launch pad yesterday to be in place for lift off scheduled for today at 2:02 p.m. our time.

A next-generation weather satellite slated to hitch a ride on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on Thursday will join its sibling 22,300 miles above the Earth, arming forecasters with high-definition data from nearly the entire Western Hemisphere.

An advanced satellite is heading to space as part of a system that's changing the severe weather game. The satellite is equipped with a thruster, which scientists will use to shift it into its final circular orbit over the equator.

The satellite will provide faster, more accurate and more detailed data, in near real-time, to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards that affect the western United States. It will also provide high-resolution images above Alaska and nearby areas at high latitudes where the agency doesn't now have usable data from its "geostationary constellation". GOES-S is the second satellite in NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) - R Series.

The primary customer for the data from the GOES satellites is the US Weather Service, but the information they beam to Earth is also shared openly with meteorologists around the world, NOAA said.

Even as it was still being checked in orbit, GOES-16 provided invaluable data to firefighters battling blazes in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere last March and to Houston-area rescue teams in the flooded aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last August, according to officials.

A new U.S. satellite that offers speedy, high-resolution images of storms and may save lives by making forecasts more accurate blasted off Thursday from a NASA launchpad. The satellite will send down the highest-resolution pictures of hurricanes.

GOES-East (already in operation) and GOES-West (expected late 2018).

And that translates into lives saved.

The satellite will continue an upgrade the NOAA started in 2016 with the launch of GOES-R from Florida in September 2016.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the Nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider.

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