NOAA improves weather forecasting and severe weather prediction with each generation of environmental satellites.
Within the next four years, NOAA’s satellite constellation will include NOAA GOES-S and the first six COSMIC-2 satellites (COSMIC-2A).
NOAA GOES-S is scheduled to launch 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 will weigh 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 will take its place as NOAA’s GOES-East satellite later this month, keeping 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 Guam.
Consisting of six satellites, COSMIC-2A is expected to launch in 2017. These six satellites will augment the current COSMIC, providing a significant increase in geographic coverage, quantity, and quality of observations.
COSMIC-2A is a continuing joint effort between the U.S. and the National Space Organization of Taiwan. These satellites provide relatively cost-effective and highly accurate atmospheric measurements, including three-dimensional profiles of temperature, humidity, and pressure, as well as electron density in the ionosphere.
The COSMIC-2A satellites will be launched into an equatorial orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
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