Mon. Dec 4th, 2023
NOAA’s GOES-U Mission Prepares for Launch

The mission operations team has initiated a series of mission rehearsals to ensure the success of the upcoming launch of GOES-U. These rehearsals, utilizing a satellite simulator and the ground system, aim to train operations personnel and assess the readiness of operational products and the ground system.

The rehearsals focus on testing various aspects of the launch, including orbit-raising, post-launch separation events, solar array deployment, and propulsion system readiness. They simulate both standard operations and contingency procedures for situations that do not go according to plan.

Scheduled for launch in April 2024 from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, aboard a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, GOES-U will be renamed GOES-19 upon reaching geostationary orbit, approximately two weeks later. Once in orbit, GOES-19 will undergo an on-orbit evaluation of its instruments and systems, followed by the validation of its data products.

The GOES-R Series, consisting of four satellites, is NOAA’s most advanced weather-observing and environmental-monitoring system in the Western Hemisphere. The satellites in this program include GOES-R (GOES-16, currently operating as GOES East), GOES-S (GOES-17, serving as an on-orbit standby), GOES-T (GOES-18, operating as GOES West), and GOES-U.

These satellites play a crucial role in providing essential data for weather forecasts, warnings, and the detection and monitoring of environmental hazards such as fires, smoke, fog, volcanic ash, and dust. They also monitor solar activity and space weather.

The GOES-R Series is expected to remain operational until the 2030s. Simultaneously, NOAA and NASA are collaborating on the development of the Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) mission, aimed at addressing future environmental challenges and supporting U.S. weather, ocean, and climate operations.

The GOES-R and GeoXO Programs are joint endeavors between NOAA and NASA. NOAA funds and manages the programs, operates the satellites, and distributes satellite data products worldwide. NASA, along with commercial partners, is responsible for spacecraft and instrument development, as well as satellite launch operations.