#GOESS NextGen Weather Satellite Launch today

I’ll be covering this live from KSC via Twitter @wattsupwiththat with a summary later. Here’s how you can watch. Launch is at 5:02PM EST

NASA Television Coverage Set for Weather Satellite Science Briefing, Launch

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S)
The launch of NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is scheduled for March 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles for the GOES-R Series program.
Credits: Lockheed Martin

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) newest weather satellite, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S), is scheduled to launch Thursday, March 1. The launch, as well as prelaunch and science briefings on Tuesday, Feb. 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.

GOES-S is the second in the GOES-R Series of weather satellites that includes GOES-R (now GOES-16), -S, -T and -U. The satellite will be renamed GOES-17 when it reaches geostationary orbit. Once the satellite is declared operational, late this year, it will occupy NOAA’s GOES-West position and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, Mexico, Central America and the Pacific Ocean, all the way to New Zealand.

Prelaunch and Science Briefings

NASA TV will air two GOES-S news briefings on Feb. 27 from the Press Site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The prelaunch news conference will be held at 1 p.m. Participants will be:

  • Stephen Volz, director for satellite and information services at NOAA
  • Tim Walsh, acting GOES-R system program director at NOAA
  • Sandra Smalley, director of NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division
  • Tim Dunn, launch director at Kennedy
  • Scott Messer, flight director at United Launch Alliance
  • Clay Flinn, launch weather officer for the 45th Weather Squadron at CCAFS

The prelaunch news conference will be followed at 2:30 p.m. by a science briefing. Participants will be:

  • Dan Lindsey, GOES-R senior scientific advisor at NOAA
  • Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service at NOAA
  • George Morrow, deputy director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Jim Roberts, scientist with the Earth System Research Laboratory of NOAA’s Office of Atmospheric Research
  • Kristin Calhoun, research scientist with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

Media can ask questions during the briefings via Twitter, using the hashtag #askNASA.

There is no planned post-launch news conference.

Audio of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, mission audio, the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

Information on media accreditation for the launch is available at:


Join the conversation and follow the GOES-S launch on social media at:


Yesterday, I got this close to the pad:

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March 1, 2018 8:36 am

Very Cool.

Reply to  SMC
March 1, 2018 9:01 am

Very cool indeed, and Anthony Watts is right there. Double cool.

Bryan A
Reply to  Keitho
March 1, 2018 10:16 am

What an amazing experience

Tom Halla
March 1, 2018 8:38 am

What sort of orbit is it going into?

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 1, 2018 8:40 am


Reply to  Tom Halla
March 1, 2018 6:29 pm

Geostationary –Geo, Earth + stationary, fixed position. It is orbiting the Earth at exactly the rate of rotation, so that it stays above the same spot on the surface.

Stephen Singer
March 1, 2018 8:46 am

Image satellite news.
On Feb. 22, 2018, the signal from IMAGE began to break up and has been silent since Feb. 24. The team continues to assess what may be the issue, but it is known that this episode does not mimic the sudden silence that occurred in 2005 when contact was originally lost with the spacecraft. The team continues to make preparations to attempt to bring the attitude determination and control systems back online should communications with IMAGE be re-established.

Reply to  Stephen Singer
March 2, 2018 12:09 am

-This satellite is dead! (hits the counter with a plastic satellite model)
-No, it’s sleeping!!
-No, it’s gone, kicked the bucket, stone-dead, bricked.
-Look, it’s a screen saver!

March 1, 2018 8:56 am

My understanding is that it has the latest temperature sensing technology which will guarantee an average of 1 degree higher temperature readings.

Ian Magness
March 1, 2018 9:16 am

I wonder if it’s self-adjusting with regard to its temperature data output?

Reply to  Ian Magness
March 1, 2018 7:19 pm

No – the radiance data is calibrated in real-time on the ground using cold (space)/hot (calibrated ‘blackbody’) reference points the instrument (ABI) looks at frequently.

March 1, 2018 9:23 am

How far from the launch will you be, and will you be outside? Can’t be anywhere near as impressive as a Shuttle launch, still cool.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Anthony Watts
March 1, 2018 10:40 am

Compared to a Saturn V this’ll be a bottle rocket. Never-the-less, seeing a launch live is a thrill. I still remember watching one of the Gemini launches, ~50 years ago.

March 1, 2018 9:57 am

Lots of busy engineers, I would imagine 🙂
Enjoy the show.

March 1, 2018 10:12 am

It would be nice if WUWT posted launch events in advance so that people could make arrangements to go see the events. I know NASA has a calendar out there, but highlighting it on this website would be nice.

Bill J
Reply to  co2islife
March 1, 2018 12:09 pm

Spaceflightnow.com has a full schedule of launches for all launch facilities worldwide. They do nice live updates for US launches.

Reply to  Bill J
March 1, 2018 1:00 pm


J Mac
March 1, 2018 10:18 am

Beautiful picture of the Atlas V stack and it’s GOESS payload!

March 1, 2018 10:33 am

Here’s the hourly forecast for the Cape (in the 80’s – Arggh):

March 1, 2018 10:47 am

that threaten the western United States…..
and more hype from the predictions

March 1, 2018 11:02 am

Very cool that you were invited, and a good sign that they recognize who is on top of the climate blogosphere.

Richard Keen
March 1, 2018 12:08 pm

Hey, don’t pooh-pooh the little ol’ Atlas V. It’s a bigger version of the Atlas that lifted our first landers (and crashers) to the moon, the first flybys and orbiters of Venus and Mars, and sent John Glenn ’round the world. I watched an Atlas launch 40 years ago, and it was AWESOME!
I’ll watch today’s event live at
Enjoy, Anthony, this will be the memory of a lifetime.

Gunga Dn
March 1, 2018 1:17 pm

Absorb the experience.
Share what you can.
PS I saw this morning on TWC that they have one of their “most likely to be a cute bobble-head” there also.
Be kind. Don’t ask her any questions about meteorology.

Henry Galt
March 1, 2018 2:12 pm

Is what Internet is perfect for 😉

Larry Geiger
March 1, 2018 2:16 pm

Clear out by the pad but some clouds between me and the pad. Saw a little bit of it. Looks pretty good right now. Nice rumble. Have fun Anthony.

March 1, 2018 2:34 pm

GOES Anthony!
Congrats and well done! 👍. You deserved this and my humble thanks for all you do.

March 1, 2018 2:37 pm

The more satellites the better to see. Here is a view of the South Pole which shows how dry the air is in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment. It looks like tentacles spreading out over the SH, …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_precipitable_water/orthographic=-32.08,-93.18,408/loc=58.653,-11.143
Notice how far northward the surface winds have pushed this colder air. The surface of the ocean reflects the change as well, …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/primary/waves/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-95.76,-61.12,672/loc=-121.081,-50.582

March 1, 2018 2:46 pm

Looks like the launch was successful. I missed the real-time launch but NASA has been playing reruns from several vantage points. The satellite still has to get into proper geosynchronous orbit.

Michael Kelly
March 1, 2018 4:19 pm

How did you like it? Was it everything I built it up to be?

March 1, 2018 5:47 pm

Whenever I see a launch like that, I think: Kalman filter.
And whenever I think about the Kalman filter, I marvel that its magic stems from the fact that the product of two Gaussian distributions is a Gaussian distribution.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Max Photon
March 1, 2018 10:48 pm

I think of optimal estimation… the mathematical implementation of that.
It could be n-number of Gaussian distributions with one output based on optimizing the co-variance matrix cross-products to one answer..

March 1, 2018 8:18 pm

Way to go Anthony.

Joel O’Bryan
March 1, 2018 11:09 pm

From Nasa.gov.

March 1, 2018
RELEASE 18-012
NASA, ULA Launch Advanced NOAA Weather Satellite
Liftoff of Atlas V rocket with GOES-S satellite
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-S. Liftoff was at 5:02 p.m. EST. GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett
NASA successfully launched the second in a series of next-generation weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at 5:02 p.m. EST Thursday.
NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) lifted off on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
GOES-S mission managers confirmed at 8:58 p.m. the spacecraft’s solar arrays successfully deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.
The satellite will provide faster, more accurate and more detailed data, in near real-time, to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards that affect the western United States.
“We at NASA Science are proud to support our joint agency partner NOAA on today’s launch of GOES-S, a national asset that will impact lives across the Western Hemisphere each and every day,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, who attended today’s launch.
Once GOES-S is positioned in a geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES-17. Later this year, after undergoing a full checkout and validation of its six high-tech instruments, the new satellite will move to the GOES-West position and become operational. From there, it constantly will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.
In addition to improving weather forecasts, GOES-17 will help forecasters locate and track wildfires – invaluable information that emergency response teams need to fight fires and evacuate people out of harm’s way. GOES-17 also will be an important tool for forecasters to track and predict the formation and dissipation of fog, which can disrupt airport operations.
GOES-17 will work in tandem with GOES-16, the first satellite in NOAA’s new geostationary series, now at the GOES-East position. GOES-17 will extend observational high-resolution satellite coverage of the revolutionary new technology aboard GOES-16 to most of the Western Hemisphere, from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand, and from near the Arctic Circle to near the Antarctic Circle. The satellite will provide more and better data than is currently available over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental U.S.

It will be in the GOES-West location to provide the West Coast pictures of all those Pine-Apple express atmospheric river storms hitting the West Coast in the coming decade as the 65-yr cool phase sets in.

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