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GOES-S to Assist Pacific Hurricane Hunters

2 Mar 2018, 15:33 UTC
GOES-S to Assist Pacific Hurricane Hunters
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Blue skies and scattered clouds decorate this four-frame composite long exposure photo of the GOES-S launch. Photo credit: Bill Jelen / We Report Space
CAPE CANAVERAL: A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket lifted the GOES-S weather-tracking satellite to orbit. The launch occurred at the top of the launch window, 5:02 PM on March 1, 2018. The weather was perfect – the 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron announced a 0% probability of violating weather constraints. The rocket was flying with the extra-large fairing that is five meters in diameter instead of the usual four. Because of the mass of the satellite, four external solid rocket boosters were attached to the Atlas V to provide additional lift. Those extra engines provided a beautiful white trail of smoke as the rocket ascended.
GOES-S will be shooting images of the Pacific basin. It joins GOES-R which launched in 2017 to cover the Atlantic basin. GOES-T will be next, positioned in the middle between GOES-R and GOES-S, able to point its sensors in either direction to cover in case GOES-R or GOES-S goes offline. Lockheed Martin says that the fourth satellite, GOES-U in 90% complete and will be a ground spare in case either spacecraft ...

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