GOES-S will boost weather forecast accuracy for western U.S., Alaska, and HawaiiPress Release Road to Launch Images Road to Launch Videos
Beautiful views of the Western Hemisphere from GOES-16, NOAA’s GOES-East operational satellite.GOES-East Image Viewer GOES-16 Lightning Data
The latest GOES-R Series Quarterly Newsletter is now available for download.Download All Newsletters
Replaces GOES-13 as NOAA’s GOES-East satellitePress Release GOES-East Image Viewer
GOES-16 was launched into space on November 19, 2016.Feature Story See the Launch Again View Data
NOAA's latest generation of geostationary weather satellites
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) – R Series is the nation’s most advanced fleet of geostationary weather satellites. The GOES-R Series significantly improves the detection and observation of environmental phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property and our nation’s economic health and prosperity.
The satellites provide advanced imaging with increased spatial resolution and faster coverage for more accurate forecasts, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.
The GOES-R Series is a four-satellite program (GOES-R/S/T/U) that will extend the availability of the operational GOES satellite system through 2036.
Remote environmental sensing is only part of the GOES-R Series mission. The satellites also provide unique capabilities to relay data directly to users to meet critical needs
DCS is a satellite relay system used to collect information from Earth-based data collection platforms that transmit in-situ environmental sensor data from more than 20,000 platforms across the hemisphere.
GOES Rebroadcast provides the primary relay of full resolution, calibrated, near-real-time direct broadcast space relay of Level 1b data from each instrument and Level 2 data from the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). GRB replaces the GOES VARiable (GVAR) service
The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN) is a direct service that provides users with weather forecasts, warnings, graphics and other information directly from the National Weather Service (NWS) in near real-time. The HRIT service is a new high data rate (400 Kpbs) version of the previous LRIT (Low Rate Information Transmission), broadcasting GOES-R Series satellite imagery and selected products to remotely-located user terminals.
The SARSAT system detects and locates mariners, aviators and other recreational users in distress. The GOES-R Series continues the legacy function of the SARSAT system on board NOAA’s GOES satellites. This system uses a network of satellites to quickly detect and locate signals from emergency beacons onboard aircraft, vessels and from handheld personal locator beacons. The GOES-R Series SARSAT transponder operates with a lower uplink power than the current system (32 bBm), enabling GOES-R Series satellites to detect weaker beacon signals.
The GOES-R series spacecraft bus is three-axis stabilized and designed for 10 years of on-orbit operation preceded by up to five years of on-orbit storage. The spacecraft carries three classifications of instruments: nadir-pointing, solar-pointing, and in-situ. Visit the Spacecraft page of this site for more information.
Explore the GOES-R series spacecraft: Use the quick view buttons above to swap the views of the spacecraft, watch the video below and use the Spacecraft & Instruments links below.
A fly by in space of GOES-R. Note: there is no audio, therefore no closed captions.
The most recent images of Earth's western hemisphere from the GOES constellation .
Environmental satellites provide data in several different formats. The most commonly used channels on weather satellites are the visible, infrared, and water vapor.
Visible satellite images, which look like black and white photographs, are derived from the satellite’s signals. Clouds usually appear white, while land and water surfaces appear in shades of gray or black. The visible channel reflects solar radiation. Clouds, the Earth's atmosphere, and the Earth's surface all absorb and reflect incoming solar radiation. Since visible imagery is produced by reflected sunlight (radiation), it is only available during daylight.
In the infrared (IR) channel, the satellite senses energy as heat. The Earth’s surface absorbs about half of the incoming solar energy. Clouds and the atmosphere absorb a much smaller amount. The Earth’s surface, clouds, and the atmosphere then re-emit part of this absorbed solar energy as heat. The infrared channel senses this re-emitted radiation. Infrared imagery is useful for determining cloud features both at day and night.Water vapor imagery is used to analyze the presence and movement of water vapor moisture in the upper and middle levels of the atmosphere. The wavelength spectrum used to detect water vapor is in the 6.7 to 7.3 micrometer wavelength range. The darker regions in water vapor imagery are areas where very little water vapor exists in the middle and upper troposphere, and the lighter regions are very moist. Water vapor imagery is a very valuable tool for weather analysis and prediction because water vapor imagery shows moisture in the atmosphere, not just cloud patterns. This allows meteorologists to observe large-scale circulation patterns even when clouds are not present.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains two primary constellations of environmental satellites: geostationary and polar-orbiting. These satellites are part of NOAA's integrated observing system, which includes satellites, radar, surface automated weather stations, weather balloons, sounders, buoys, instrumented aircraft and other sensors, along with the data management infrastructure needed for this system.
Geostationary satellites orbit 35,800 km (22,300 miles) above Earth's equator at speeds equal to Earth's rotation, which means they maintain their positions and provide continuous coverage. Information from geostationary satellites is used for short-term (1 day) weather forecasting and severe storm warning and tracking.
Polar-orbiting satellites make regular orbits around the Earth’s poles from about 833 km (517 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The Earth constantly rotates counterclockwise underneath the path of the satellite, making for a different view with each orbit. Information from polar-orbiting satellites is used for mid-range (3-7 day) forecasts and advanced warnings of severe weather.
GOES satellites continually view the continental United States, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Central and South America, and Southern Canada. To fully cover Alaska, Hawaii, the entire continental United States and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans (for tropical storms), NOAA operates two GOES satellites simultaneously: GOES-East and GOES-West. GOES East is located at 75° W and provides most of the U.S. weather information. GOES West is located at 135°W over the Pacific Ocean. In the GOES-R series era, GOES West will be located at 137°W. In addition to two operational satellites, NOAA also maintains an on-orbit spare.
Since 1975, GOES have provided continuous imagery and data on atmospheric conditions and solar activity (space weather). They have even aided in search and rescue of people in distress. GOES data products have led to more accurate and timely weather forecasts and better understanding of long-term climate conditions. NASA builds and launches the satellites and NOAA operates them.
GOES-R launched on November 19, 2016 and will be followed by GOES-S in 2018, GOES-T in 2020 and GOES-U in 2025.The GOES-R series will extend the availability of the operational GOES satellite system through 2036.
GOES-S, the second satellite in the GOES-R Series, launched on March 1, 2018, at 5:02 p.m. EST at the opening of the two-hour launch window. GOES-S launched from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket. The satellite was renamed GOES-17 when it reached geostationary orbit on March 12, 2018.
GOES-S arrived at Kennedy Space Center on December 4, 2017, and underwent additional testing and preparation for encapsulation on top of the rocket boosted it to its geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles above Earth. GOES-S will boost weather forecast accuracy for western U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. More detailed observations from the new satellite will improve marine and aviation forecasts and track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten this area of the Western Hemisphere.
GOES-17 joined its sister satellite, GOES-16, in orbit. The first satellite in the series, GOES-R, launched on November 19, 2016, and became GOES-16 when it reached geostationary orbit. GOES-16 replaced GOES-13 as NOAA’s operational GOES East satellite on December 18, 2017. GOES-17 will undergo a six-month on-orbit checkout of its instruments and systems, followed by operational handover procedures and drift to its operational location at 137 degrees west longitude. GOES-17 is expected to be operational as NOAA’s GOES West satellite in late 2018.
GOES satellites are placed into a geosynchronous orbit which is an orbit that keeps the satellite over a specific location on the earth. By maintaining a position hovering over a fixed point on Earth's surface, GOES are able to constantly monitor atmospheric conditions in a particular portion of the Earth's atmosphere. Note that non-geosynchronous orbits (for example polar orbits) move over an ever rotating earth underneath them, therefore seeing a constantly changing view which has advantages for other types of missions.
On May 25, 2017, NOAA announced GOES-16’s future operational location as GOES-East. The GOES-East position was chosen primarily because it offers full coverage of the continental United States and provides optimal viewing of the states and cities in the plains, mid-west and east most impacted by severe weather events including Atlantic hurricanes, thunderstorms and tornadoes, major winter storms, and flooding.
GOES-16 became operational as NOAA’s GOES-East on December 18, 2017, replacing GOES-13. From its operational location of 75.2 degrees west longitude, GOES-16 is keeping watch over most of North America, including the continental United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Africa.
GOES-13 now resides in storage. GOES-14 will continue to be the on-orbit spare GOES satellite in the event of an anomaly or failure of GOES-East or GOES-West.
GOES-S launched on March 1, 2018, and was renamed GOES-17 when it reached geostationary orbit on March 12. After a checkout and validation phase, GOES-17 will be operational as GOES West at 137 degrees west longitude in late 2018. An operational GOES-17 will extend the coverage of the revolutionary new technology provided by GOES-16. Together, GOES-16 and GOES-17 will observe the majority of the Western Hemisphere from the west coast of Africa all the way to New Zealand.
On March 12, GOES-S executed its final liquid apogee engine burn, placing the satellite in geostationary orbit 22,236 miles away. GOES-S is now GOES-17! Tomorrow, GOES-17 will perform its second stage solar array deployment, releasing the solar array yoke and solar pointing platform. In the days that follow, several maneuvers will be conducted to put GOES-17 in its 89.5 degrees west longitude checkout position. Learn what’s next for GOES-17 in this feature story.
When the sun flared dramatically last September, causing geomagnetic storms and radio blackouts on Earth, a new NOAA solar telescope captured the drama from a different perspective. Now, NOAA has released these new images to the scientific community. The primary mission for the GOES-R Series Solar Ultraviolet Imager, or SUVI, is to support space weather forecasting operations at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, but its unique properties offer several opportunities for new research. Learn more in this feature from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
After a successful separation from the Centaur upper stage, GOES-S began flying freely. Shortly after, the satellite completed deployment of the Stage 1 solar array that will generate electricity for the spacecraft during its mission. GOES-S is orbiting above the Earth, its systems are in good health and it is operating on its own. Learn more in the NOAA press release.
Booster ignition and liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying NOAA’s GOES-S satellite. The rocket is on its way, carrying NOAA’s second in a series of four next-generation weather satellites. About four minutes into flight, a series of key events occurs in rapid succession: Atlas booster engine cutoff, separation of the booster from the Centaur upper stage, ignition of the Centaur main engine for its first of two burns, then jettison of the payload fairing. Follow the GOES-S Blog for updates.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and its GOES-S payload were moved to the launch pad today as preparations continue for Thursday’s launch from Space Launch Complex 41. The Atlas V is in its 541 configuration, which means it has the 5-meter-diameter payload fairing, four solid-fueled boosters and the Centaur upper stage is equipped with a single engine. Liftoff remains on schedule for 5:02 p.m. EST tomorrow. Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff of the Atlas V rocket. On launch day, the primary weather concern is cumulus clouds and strengthening ground winds.
NOAA GOES-S will travel to space aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 expendable launch vehicle, or rocket. The “541” refers to the configuration of the rocket: payload fairing, or nose cone, that covers the satellite is approximately 5 meters in diameter; the four solid rocket boosters that generate extra thrust off the launch pad; and a single engine on the Centaur upper stage. Fully fueled, GOES-S’s Atlas V 541 rocket weighs more than 1 million pounds and is approximately 197 feet tall.
GOES-S and its Atlas V rocket will begin its journey to space when the booster engine and solid rocket boosters ignite and the rocket blasts off. Just under 2 minutes after leaving the launch pad, the rocket’s four solid rocket boosters will complete their burns and be jettisoned while the Atlas booster continues to burn. Approximately 90 seconds later, the payload fairing halves separate and fall back, no longer needed after leaving Earth’s atmosphere. About a minute later, the booster engine will shut down, known as booster engine cutoff (BECO), and the booster and Centaur upper stage separate. With the upper stage now flying free, the main engine will start its first burn. This burn will last for nearly eight minutes before the first main engine cutoff (MECO-1).
After a total of three burns of the Centaur upper stage engine, GOES-S will separate from the upper stage and fly alone in space for the first time! This will occur roughly three and a half hours after liftoff. In the days that follow, GOES-S will perform several instrument deployments and a series of maneuvers to bring the satellite into geostationary orbit. This is scheduled to occur 17 days after launch. Once NOAA GOES-S, now GOES-17, is placed in geostationary orbit, it will undergo a period of checkout and validation, moving to the GOES West operational position in late 2018.
In 2018, NOAA launches the GOES-S satellite, which takes its place in orbit as GOES-17. Working together with GOES-16, the two new geostationary weather satellites will provide constant watch over the United States and the Western Hemisphere from the west coast of Africa all the way to New Zealand, helping monitor severe storms, wildfires, and daily weather patterns.
Managers from NASA, NOAA, U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing and United Launch Alliance gave a unanimous “go” for launch of the GOES-S spacecraft on March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The decision followed the Launch Readiness Review on February 27 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA, NOAA and United Launch Alliance controllers and engineers conducted a full Mission Dress Rehearsal on February 23 for the launch of the GOES-S spacecraft. The practice is standard for the launch team as it prepares for a mission. Working from consoles in facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the teams ran through the same systems and processes they will use for the actual launch, which is set for March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST.
At the conclusion of the Flight Readiness Review at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 23, senior NASA and contractor managers voted to proceed with processing toward the targeted launch of GOES-S on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 1. A final “go” decision will be made at the GOES-S Launch Readiness Review on February 27.
Working in concert with the recently launched GOES-16, the two new geostationary weather satellites will provide constant watch over the United States and the Western Hemisphere, helping monitor severe storms, wildfires, and daily weather patterns. GOES-S will provide better data coverage over the northeastern Pacific, where many weather systems that affect the western U.S. originate. Greater coverage means that GOES-S will be in an ideal location to monitor weather hazards unique to the western U.S. These include wildfires, coastal fog, and atmospheric river events, when storms from the Pacific dump heavy rain and snow over the western U.S. Better monitoring of these heavy precipitation events will lead to timelier warnings to the public about hazards such as flooding and mudslides.
On March 1, 2018, NOAA’s newest geostationary satellite will launch into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida. GOES-S (which will become GOES-17 once it reaches its final orbit) will significantly enhance weather forecasting capabilities across the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii and provide critical data and imagery of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean extending all the way to New Zealand. Here are five reasons why GOES-S will be such a game-changer for weather forecasts from California to Alaska and beyond.
NOAA’s GOES-S is scheduled to launch Thursday, March 1, 2018. The launch, as well as the pre-launch mission and science briefings on February 27, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. At 5:02 p.m. March 1, a two-hour launch window will open, during which GOES-S will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Launch coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. Learn more about NASA Television’s coverage of GOES-S launch events.
On February 16, 2018, GOES-S, secured inside its payload fairing, was transported from its processing location at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, to the United Launch Alliance Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. There, the satellite was raised into position atop the Atlas V rocket that will send it into orbit on March 1. View more photos of the lift and mate operation.
GOES-S is now encapsulated inside its payload fairing at the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The payload fairing protects the spacecraft during the ascent through Earth's atmosphere on its way to orbit. GOES-S will soon be moved to Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for mounting atop the Atlas V rocket that will boost the satellite to orbit.
NOAA satellites helped save the lives of 275 people last year! Although NOAA satellites, like GOES-16, are known for weather forecasting, they also play a vital role in assisting in the rescue of those in distress at sea or on land. NOAA satellites are part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking System, or COSPAS-SARSAT, which uses a network of U.S. and international spacecraft to detect and locate distress signals quickly from emergency beacons aboard aircraft, boats and from handheld PLBs. Learn more about how NOAA satellites help rescue people in distress.
NOAA is one month from launching GOES-S, its newest geostationary weather satellite that will begin providing faster, more accurate data to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. More detailed observations will improve marine, aviation forecasts, wildfire detection and more. Read the announcement.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V first stage for GOES-S has been lifted to the vertical position inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The first stage of the rocket holds the fuel and oxygen tanks that feed the engine for ascent and powers the spacecraft into geostationary orbit. The rocket is being prepared to launch the satellite on March 1, 2018. Additional photos of the Atlas V first stage booster lift to vertical on stand.
As NOAA’s next-generation weather satellites continually improve weather forecasts in the United States and beyond, it’s worth remembering how we got to where we are today. Today marks the 60th anniversary of America’s first successful satellite launch, ushering in a new era of space exploration and scientific discovery. Learn more in this feature story.
The Centaur upper stage, part of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will help launch GOES-S, is in place for prelaunch processing. The Centaur holds theThe Centaur arrived at the Delta Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on January 24, two days after its delivery by ship to nearby Port Canaveral.
Media accreditation is open for the launch of NOAA’s GOES-S satellite on Thursday, March 1, 2018. GOES-S is scheduled to launch at 5:02 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s neighboring Kennedy Space Center. International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, for access to Kennedy media activities only. U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19. Learn more and apply for GOES-S launch media accreditation.
The propellant, including fuel and oxidizer, that will take GOES-S to orbit is now loaded in the spacecraft. The fuel loading process began on January 24 with a checkout of all the equipment, ensuring no leaks and correct flow rates. The team prepared for the hazardous operations by donning SCAPE suits (Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble) that cover their bodies and provide a clean air source, as the fuel and its vapors are toxic. The chemical purity of the hydrazine was first tested for purity then pumped from the storage tank into the spacecraft fuel tank. On January 27, the oxidizer was loaded, following the same process, except that two spacecraft oxidizer tanks were filled. At the end, the spacecraft was weighed and its center of gravity measured.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V booster and Centaur stage for NOAA’s GOES-S arrived this week at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. A Mariner transport ship delivered the components to the Army Wharf at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.The Atlas V booster was moved to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center near Space Launch Complex 41; the Centaur was taken to the Delta Operations Center. GOES-S is preparing for a March 1, 2018 launch.
Top officials from NOAA, NASA and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will hold a media teleconference on February 1, 2018, to discuss how NOAA’s GOES-S, the second in a series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites, will help provide faster, more accurate data for tracking lightning, storm systems, wildfires, dense fog and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska. Learn more in this NOAA media advisory.
Are you passionate about all things space, satellites and social media? Then this is the event for you. Don’t miss this behind the scenes opportunity to snap, post, tweet, and share everything about the launch of NOAA’s GOES-S satellite. Social media users are invited to register to attend the NOAA GOES-S Launch Social on February 28 – March 1, 2018, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. EST on January 29, 2018. Learn more about the GOES-S social and apply for accreditation.
On January 16, 2017, media outlets got an up-close look at NOAA's GOES-S, the second in a series of highly advanced geostationary weather satellites. Currently, the satellite is inside a secured clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. Media had the opportunity to photograph GOES-S and conduct interviews with National Weather Service, GOES-R Series Program, Lockheed Martin and Harris personnel. GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1, 2018, from Cape Canaveral, Florida,, and will be known as GOES-17 when it reaches final orbit. After an orbital test phase of its six instruments and their data, GOES-17 will be declared operational as the new GOES-West satellite.
Technicians and engineers are preparing NOAA’s GOES-S satellite for encapsulation in its payload fairing inside a clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. After encapsulation, the satellite will be moved to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. GOES-S is slated for launch on March 1, 2018, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
The GOES-R Series Quarterly Newsletter for the time period October – December 2017 is now available. GOES-16 is now fully operational as NOAA’s GOES-East satellite and forecasters are thrilled. GOES-S was delivered to Kennedy Space Center and is undergoing final preparations for launch on March 1, 2018. We will soon have two game-changing geostationary satellites watching over the Western Hemisphere! View the 4Q 2017 newsletter.
For more than seven years, NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite actively monitored the skies as NOAA’s operational GOES-East satellite, serving as a critical source of information during major weather events, from crippling snowstorms to powerful hurricanes. On January 8, 2018, GOES-13 was turned off, ceding GOES-East observational duties to GOES-16. The satellite will now drift into storage at 60 degrees west longitude, and be available as a backup if needed. As GOES-13 reaches the end of its operational service life, here’s a look back at the satellite’s unique history and its most memorable imagery.
On January 4, 2018, a powerful nor’easter battered coastal areas from Florida to Maine with heavy snow and strong winds. The storm has also been called a ‘bomb cyclone’ because it underwent “bombogenesis” which occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies over a short period and see its central pressure drop 24 millibars or more within 24 hours. Storms like this typically bring heavy precipitation, strong winds, and coastal storm surge and are common along the East Coast during the winter months. Learn more about bombogenesis in this NOAA feature and a read a summary of the event including breathtaking GOES-16 imagery in this story from the National Weather Service.
April 10-11, 2018
Kansas City, Missouri
April 16-19, 2018
Colorado Springs, Colorado
April 16-20, 2018
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida