What NASA's newest satellite means for weather forecasting

05 Marcha, 2018, 09:21 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Riding 2.1 million pounds of thrust from its RD-180 main engine and four solid rocket boosters the Atlas 5 exceeds the speed of sound

A United Launch Alliance rocket carried a Colorado-built satellite into orbit Thursday that's created to provide USA weather forecasters unprecedented detail about severe weather formation and make improve air travel safety by tracking in-cloud lightning.

The US company United Launch Alliance fired from the Cape Canaveral, Florida state-of-the-art Atlas V, with a meteorological companion called GOES-S. The rocket's took place at the very opening of the launch window and saw the launch vehicle arc above the partly-cloudy Florida skies on its way to space.

The Atlas V is the same type of rocket used to launch the GOES-16 weather satellite, as well as historic missions such as the Mars Curiosity Rover and the New Horizons space probe, the only human-built object to visit Pluto.

NOAA funds, manages and plans to operate the GOES-R Series satellites. A previous weather satellite, GOES-16, was launched on November 19, 2016 and is now monitoring weather conditions along the eastern seaboard of the country. GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites. Together, GOES-S (which will be renamed GOES-West) and GOES-East will be able to focus on four locations to refresh views every minute, or two locations to refresh views every 30 seconds.

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The new satellite "will provide further insight and unrivaled accuracy into severe weather systems and wildfires in the western United States", said Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, which oversees NOAA.

There's a new satellite in space that's helping NASA and weather forecasters gather data on daily weather patterns, storms and wildfires. GOES-R, the first satellite in the series, launched in November 2016 and is now GOES-16. "And we're also eagerly anticipating the increased coverage from GOES-S across the United States".

As the monstrous Hurricane Harvey bore down on the vulnerable Houston region and Texas coastline, the satellite helped to not only track the storm but also to help determine when it was safe for emergency personnel to respond and rescue residents in the hurricane-ravaged areas. ULA has successfully delivered more than 125 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field and enable personal device-based GPS navigation. The next satellite, GOES-T, is scheduled for launch in 2020.

The total cost of the four satellites, from original conception in the 2000s until the end of their mission in the 2030s, will be about $10 billion, according to Tim Marsh, acting GOES-R system program director at NOAA.

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