NOAA and NASA are now targeting March 1, 2022, as the new launch date for NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite T (GOES-T) mission. The launch was recently scheduled for February 16, 2022. However, shifts in launch dates for missions scheduled ahead of GOES-T prompted NASA, NOAA, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to coordinate the new date.
GOES-T, the third satellite in NOAA’s advanced GOES-R series, will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches geostationary orbit. After it completes checkout of its instruments and systems, the new satellite will go into operation as GOES West and work in tandem with GOES-16, which operates in the GOES East position.
GOES-T, which arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 10, will launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket. The two-hour launch window will open at 4:38 p.m. EST. NASA’s Launch Services Program is managing the launch.
NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office, administering the ground system contract, operating the satellites, and distributing their data to users worldwide. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R spacecraft and instruments. Lockheed Martin designs, creates, and tests the GOES-R series satellites. L3Harris Technologies provides the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, along with the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data reception.
Looking forward, NOAA is working with NASA on the next-generation geostationary satellite mission called GeoXO, which will bring new capabilities in support of U.S. weather, ocean, and climate operations in the 2030s. NASA will manage the development of the GeoXO satellites and launch them for NOAA.