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NASA to launch GOES-U weather satellite from SpaceX Falcon Heavy

NASA selects SpaceX Falcon Heavy for its mission to send a GOES-U weather satellite. The launch is planned to lift off in April 2024, which will cost about $125.5 million. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U) will be launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA selects ULA Atlas V for JPSS-2 Weather Satellite Launch amid lingering  Data Gap Concerns – Spaceflight101

Image credits- Spaceflight101

NASA officials stated on Friday, “GOES-U will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment, as well as real-time mapping of total lightning activity and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.”

This GOES-U launch will be the fourth and final launch of the GOES-R series. It is being launched under the collaboration with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Geostationary operational environmental satellites are highly capable Weather satellites. These satellites will be set around 22,236 miles (35,785 kilometers) above the earth’s surface.

Furthermore SpaceX Falcon Heavy has three planned liftoffs to date. Specially designed to take payloads to space, the Flacon Heavy rocket to going to have many more launches in coming years. In 2022 the rocket will launch  NASA’s Psyche asteroid probe, the Europa Clipper launch is set for October 2024 and NASA’s Gateway moon-orbiting space station in November 2024.

GOES-R series

The agency stated, “GOES-U is the fourth and final spacecraft in the GOES-R Series of geostationary weather satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The GOES-R Series is a joint effort between NASA and NOAA and includes GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U.”

These satellites will be used by NOAA to forecast potentially dangerous weather and monitor the weather on a regular basis. Weather from a particular region can be observed through the GOES-R series satellites. On the website, it states, “The GOES-R Series provides advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment, real-time mapping of total lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.”

Furthermore, the benefits and applications are stated as,

  • Improved hurricane track and intensity forecasts
  • Increased thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time
  • Earlier warning of lightning ground strike hazards
  • Better detection of heavy rainfall and flash flood risks
  • Better monitoring of smoke and dust
  • Improved air quality warnings and alerts
  • Better fire detection and intensity estimation
  • Improved detection of low cloud/fog
  • Improved transportation safety and aviation route planning
  • Improved warning for communications and navigation disruptions and power blackouts
  • More accurate monitoring of energetic particles responsible for radiation hazards

Such satellites contribute to thousands of people who are in distress. It can even detect weaker beacon signals.



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