Atlas V Set to Launch Weather Satellite Saturday Evening

An Atlas V rocket, carrying NASA and NOAA’s GOES-R satellite stands ready for launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41. (Credit: ULA)
An Atlas V rocket, carrying NASA and NOAA’s GOES-R satellite stands ready for launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41. (Credit: ULA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (ULA PR)– Everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the GOES-R spacecraft for NASA and NOAA.

The mission is set to lift off on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Saturday, Nov. 19 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is 5:42-6:42 p.m. EST.  Live launch broadcast will begin on NASA TV at 4:45 p.m. EST.

Mission Description

GOES-R is the first of four satellites to be launched for NOAA in a new and advanced series of spacecraft. Once in geostationary orbit, it will be known as GOES-16. Compared with today’s geostationary satellites, GOES-R will scan the Earth five times faster at four times image resolution and triple the number of channels scientists can tap into to observe global weather and climate. GOES-R will support short-term forecasts and severe storm watches and warnings, maritime forecasts, seasonal predictions, drought outlooks and space weather predictions. The satellite also will improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time, improve aviation flight route planning, and provide data for long-term climate variability studies.

In addition to weather forecasting, GOES-R carries a transponder to detect distress signals from emergency beacons on aircraft, boats/ships and carried by individuals as part of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system.

Weather Forecast

Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 10%
Primary concern: Cumulus Clouds
Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay: 10%
Primary concern: Cumulus Clouds