Dozens of meteorologists gathered for the launch, including TV crews from the Weather Channel and WeatherNation.
The first spacecraft in the series, GOES-16, has been monitoring the Atlantic and East Coast for the past year for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Besides the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii, GOES-S also will keep watch over Mexico and Central America.
That breadth will help researchers and weather forecasters get a better picture of weather that makes landfall in the western USA - weather that often has origins far out to sea, beyond GOES-16's view.
A next-generation weather satellite slated to hitch a ride on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on Thursday will join its sibling 22,300 miles above the Earth, arming forecasters with high-definition data from nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. NASA also oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles.
The satellite should help improve forecasts for storms forming in the Pacific, and allow experts to see storms churning in high resolution.
GOES-S also features two other Lockheed Martin-built instruments that track lightning - including cloud-to-cloud activity - and, on the reverse, observe solar activity.
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NOAA in partnership with NASA will launch the next generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) later to be named as GOES-West. This ability has already been demonstrated by the first GOES satellite with wildfires in the Plains past year.
About it reports a press-service of the company United Launch Alliance.
GOES-S will be renamed GOES-17 after tests and checkout.
At the news conference and at another one held earlier on February 27, NOAA and NASA researchers shared stories of how GOES-East's remarkably clear views have aided in search-and-rescue operations as well as in forecasting.
"Those of us in the severe weather community are really excited about the data we're seeing from GOES-16 [GOES-East]", Kristin Calhoun, a research scientist with NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory, said during the conference. It is expected that the satellite will receive more accurate information on storm disasters such as storms, hurricanes, floods.
And that translates into lives saved.
Two more are scheduled for launch in the coming years: GOES-T in 2020 and GOES-U 2024. Development began in 2005, and the program will extend through 2036.
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