The latest video in the Earth from Orbit series highlights GOES-U’s arrival at Kennedy Space Center last month. After being packed in a high-tech shipping container that acts as a mobile clean room, GOES-U caught a ride aboard a C-5 Super Galaxy aircraft from Buckley Space Force Base in Colorado to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After landing, the satellite was taken to Astrotech Space Operations, where it was removed from its shipping container, inspected, and placed onto a test stand. GOES-U will now undergo final preparations for a spring 2024 launch from Kennedy Space Center, where it will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
NOAA’s GOES-U, the fourth and final satellite in the GOES-R Series of advanced weather-observing and environmental monitoring satellites, arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 23, 2024, to begin final preparations for its upcoming launch. Shipping a satellite is no small feat. GOES-U is the size of a small school bus and weighs over 6,000 pounds! The spacecraft team at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, where GOES-U was built, packed the satellite in a high-tech shipping container that protected its sensitive instruments and acted as a mobile clean room during transport. GOES-U was then driven to Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, and loaded on the C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transport that carried it to Florida. GOES-U safely landed at the NASA Launch and Landing Facility airstrip at Kennedy Space Center and was transported to the Astrotech Space Operations spacecraft processing facility in nearby Titusville, where it will go through a series of electrical tests to confirm it is working properly and mechanical configurations to prepare it for launch. GOES-U is scheduled to launch no earlier than April 30, 2024.
NOAA’s GOES-U, the fourth and final satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R Series, the Western Hemisphere’s most advanced weather-observing and environmental monitoring system, is entering the final stage of preparations before liftoff. NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than April 30 for the launch of GOES-U on a Falcon Heavy rocket. The GOES-U team has spent years building the instruments and spacecraft, integrating all the satellite’s components, and conducting rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand the harsh launch conditions and successfully take up residence 22,236 miles above Earth. Before that happens, the spacecraft must complete several final milestones. Learn more about GOES-U’s road to launch.
The GOES-R/GeoXO quarterly newsletter for October – December 2023 is now available. Happy New Year! It’s a very exciting time for the GEO Program! We are gearing up to launch the last of the GOES-R Series satellites. GOES-U will soon ship to Kennedy Space Center and begin final preparations for its planned launch in April. GeoXO also had a successful quarter. The final development RFP, for the ACX instrument, was released in October. Evaluation boards are busy reviewing proposals for the spacecraft and the OCX, LMX, and ACX instruments. GOES-16 and GOES-18 continue to provide critical data to keep us informed of and safe from severe weather and environmental hazards. The program is looking forward to more GEO successes in 2024!
NOAA satellites see our planet from a unique and captivating perspective. Every year, they capture the beauty and wrath of Mother Nature unfolding beneath them—devastating hurricanes, raging wildfires, erupting volcanoes—as well as the changing seasons, ocean color, nighttime lights, and more. The view of NOAA satellites isn’t just limited to Earth; they also capture images of our moon and the sun as we navigate our cosmic journey. As we head into the new year, take a look back at some satellite imagery highlights from 2023.