A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket will launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) mission on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, USA.
GOES-S is the second of four satellites to be launched for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA in a new and advanced series of spacecraft.
Once in geostationary orbit, it will be known as GOES-17. Like the other satellites in the series, GOES-S carries a suite of sophisticated Earth-sensing, lightning-detecting, solar imaging and space weather monitoring instruments. The advanced technology on board GOES-S will provide critical data and imagery in near-real time on severe weather events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes and flash floods, as well as hazards like fog, aerosols, dust storms, volcanic eruptions and forest fires.
The satellite will join its sister satellite, GOES-16, in orbit. GOES-16 has already proved vital in forecasting and is a dramatic improvement of weather forecasting speed, accuracy and detail over the previous generation of satellites.
NOAA funds, manages, and will operate the GOES-R Series satellites. NASA oversees the acquisition and development of the GOES-R Series spacecraft and instruments for NOAA. The program is co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
ULA rockets have launched all of the operational GOES satellites, including GOES-R in November 2016. GOES-S marks the sixth Atlas V to launch in the 541 configuration, the first of which was the rocket that launched NASA’s Curiosity rover to Mars in 2011.
This will be the 76th launch of the Atlas V rocket and ULA’s 2nd launch in 2018. On Jan. 19, Atlas V rocket launched the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4 mission from CCAFS.