GOES-17, the western USA-centric twin satellite to GOES-16 looking at the east and midwest suffered some sort of mishap during launch and deployment. NASA and NOAA just announced they are convening a Mishap Investigation Board to determine the cause. Despite that, the spacecraft is mostly functional. Here is an image from the time of this writing:
Zoom in of Hurricane Michael as it approaches the Florida panhandle:
During postlaunch testing of the satellite’s Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument, it was discovered that the instrument’s infrared detectors cannot be maintained at their required operating temperatures under certain seasonal and orbital conditions, resulting in a loss of approximately three percent of the instrument’s availability over the course of a year. This loss exceeds a key design requirement. While technicians continue to address an issue with the cooling system of the satellite’s imager, new views from GOES-17 show that its ABI is providing beautiful – and useful – imagery of the Western Hemisphere.
It is also serving as a solar observation platform, working in a similar way to the Solar Dynamics Observatory. While it is producing imagery, the satellite has not been declared operational and its data are preliminary and undergoing testing. Still, it’s great eye-candy of Earth.
Some samples are below.
To see near real-time imagery from GOES-17, follow this link.