NOAA -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Launching Soon

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).



An image illustration of the JPSS-1 satellite


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.




An image illustration of the COSMIC-2A satellite

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.