National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)

Currently Flying

NOAA owns 9 satellites, which includes: 4 geostationary (GOES-14, -15, -16 and -17), 4 polar-orbiting (NOAA-15, -18, -19 and -20), and the DSCOVR. NOAA operates, but does not own, 7 satellites, which includes: Suomi NPP, Jason-3, 4 DMSP satellites, and the EWS-G1 satellite. 

An image illustration of all the NOAA Satellite Constellation

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites 

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites Illustration

Our Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) provide consistent and reliable monitoring of the entire Western Hemisphere and are critical for identifying and tracking severe weather, snow storms, tropical cyclones and emergency locator beacons carried by ships, planes, and even hikers.

NOAA currently operates the GOES-SGOES-16 satellite in the “GOES East” position, GOES-15 in the “GOES West” position, and GOES-13 and 14 as on-orbit back-ups.






An image illustration of the JPSS-1 satellite


NOAA GOES-S was launched on March 1, 2018 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Atlas V was chosen because it has the right liftoff capability for the heavy weight requirements of the satellite. GOES-S weighed over 11,000 pounds at launch. 

GOES-S is the second satellite in NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R Series, which includes GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U. GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch and a number once they achieve geostationary orbit. GOES-R, the first satellite in the series, launched in November 2016 and is now GOES-16. GOES-16 became operational in the GOES East position in December 2017 when GOES-13 was retired. It keeps an eye on the continental United States and the Atlantic Ocean. 

GOES-S will be designated GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit. After a period of calibration and validation, GOES-17 will be operational as GOES West, providing coverage of the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. GOES-17 will give the Western Hemisphere two next-generation geostationary environmental satellites. Together, GOES-16 and GOES-17 will observe Earth from the west coast of Africa all the way to New Zealand.





NOAA-20 is the first satellite launched from the JPSS (short for Joint Polar Satellite System) series of high tech satellites that will keep an eye on the weather and environment. These polar-orbiting satellites will circle the Earth from North Pole to South Pole 14 times each day as the planet spins below. This allows NOAA-20 to see the whole Earth twice every day!

NOAA-20 will help improve the timeliness and accuracy of U.S. weather forecasts three to seven days out. The NOAA-20 satellite carries five instruments that will improve day-to-day weather forecasting while extending the record of many long-term observations of Earth's climate. This substantial collection of data allows us to monitor annual weather patterns like El Niño and La Niña and record temperatures over multiple decades like those in the warming Arctic.

Learn more about the JPSS satellite mission at





Jason-2 and -3

The Jason-2 and Jason-3 satellites are part of the international Ocean Surface Topography Mission. For over 20 years, these satellites have provided altimetry data to track global sea level rise, one of the main symptoms of climate change, and other climate phenomena such as El Niño.

These data also provide critical information forecasters need to predict devastating hurricanes, severe weather, and surface wave heights that can affect shipping and offshore operations.

We operate Jason-2 and -3 in partnership with NASA, France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

Learn more about the JASON-3 satellite mission at




Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR)

The DSCOVR satellite serves as America’s primary warning system for geomagnetic storms and solar wind data. The satellite gives NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center forecasters measurements of solar wind conditions, helping them monitor and warn of severe and potentially dangerous space weather events.

DSCOVR’s orbit also gives Earth scientists a unique vantage point for studies of the atmosphere and climate, continuously viewing the sunlit side of the planet. 

Learn more about DSCOVR satellite mission





Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)

The DMSP satellites are operate complementary to NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellites. Together, these satellites provide the military with important environmental information used in planning and conducting U.S. military operations worldwide and important weather data used to increase the timeliness and accuracy of weather forecasts around the globe.

DMSP satellites provide critical observations to support NOAA’s three to seven-day operational weather forecasts, operational weather “nowcasting” in Alaska and polar regions, and environmental monitoring and prediction.

NOAA operates the DMSP satellites in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, with NOAA responsible for operating the ground systems development and overseeing the satellites daily operation.



Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES)

For years, NOAA’s POES satellites have provided the backbone of the global observing system. Our current operational POES satellites include NOAA-15, NOAA-18, and NOAA-19. These satellites have been instrumental in the research and development of the JPSS series.

Today, they operate in various primary and secondary roles, providing additional full global data coverage for a broad range of weather and environmental applications, supporting both short-term weather forecasting and long-term climate and environmental data records.




Learn How these satellites work!