MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The GOES S weather satellite was loaded atop an Atlas V rocket Friday ahead of a launch date planned for March 1.
The GOES S is the second of the next generation high-resolution geostationary weather satellites that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has to replace its aging weather observation satellites.
The first of this new generation of satellites, GOES R, was launched in November 2016 and after a year of testing went fully operational in December 2017 providing new high-resolution weather imagery allowing meteorologist more refined and higher quality data for more accurate forecasts.
The new GOES S will work in conjunction with the GOES R or GOES 16 as it is now called to provide an enhanced view for meteorologist and climate scientist for the entire western hemisphere.
The new GOES satellites are capable of providing images every 30 minutes. The advanced imaging cameras on board the satellite allow forecasters a better view of clouds, smoke from fires, snow cover, volcanic ash, and fog along with sea surface and ground temperature data.
After a few months of testing the new satellite will be referred to as GOES 17 and will provide much needed atmospheric and climate data for years to come.
NOAA has plans to add to the network with additional satellite launches in 2020 and 2024.