A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the GOES-S mission for NASA and NOAA lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST.
GOES-S is the second satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series of satellites, which have played a vital role in weather forecasting, storm tracking and meteorological research. ULA’s current and heritage Atlas and Delta rockets have launched every GOES satellite, first launching in 1975.
“Thank you to our partners at NASA and NOAA for the outstanding teamwork, as we delivered this next-generation satellite to orbit,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “We are proud to serve as the ultimate launch provider, continuing our dedication to 100 percent mission success.”
GOES-S will be operated from a vantage point 22,300 miles above Earth to cover the western United States, Alaska and Hawaii, providing unprecedented advancements in the clarity and timeliness of observations over the region. It will work in tandem with the GOES-R satellite that was successfully launched by an Atlas V rocket on Nov. 19, 2016.
The next-generation GOES-R series scans the Earth five times faster at four times the image resolution, with triple the number of data channels than previous GOES satellites for more reliable forecasts.
This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 541 configuration, which includes a 5-meter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine. Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the four AJ-60A solid rocket boosters and the RL10C-1 engine for the Centaur upper stage.
This is the 76th launch of the Atlas V rocket, ULA’s 3rd launch in 2018 and the 126th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
ULA’s next launch is the AFSPC-11 mission for the U.S. Air Force on an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the Nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 125 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field and enable personal device-based GPS navigation.
For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com
Heather Mowad, photos ULA