The first of the four National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's geostationary weather satellites launched Saturday aboard a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 6:42 p.m. Eastern time.
NOAA said Saturday the Lockheed Martin-built Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R system will be called GOES-16 once it reaches the orbit within two weeks and will work to provide satellite imagery every 30 seconds in order to help forecast storms, hurricanes and other severe weather conditions.
GOES-R took off with six instrument payloads that include the Lockheed-made Geostationary Lightning Mapper, Harris Corp.-built Advanced Baseline Imager antenna system, Assurance Technology-developed Space Environment In-Situ Suite, Extreme Ultraviolet and X-Ray Irradiance Sensor from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and Lockheed's Solar Ultraviolet Imager.
Lockheed said it developed the GLM and SUVI instruments at its Palo Alto, California-based facility and built the GOES-R satellite through its space systems center near Denver.
The company serves as the prime contractor for the design, development and testing of GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U satellites that will work to provide geostationary weather coverage through 2036.
GOES-R will join the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system, a NOAA-run international satellite network designed for search-and-rescue missions, NASA said Sunday.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland is responsible for the procurement of the GOES-R series satellites and related instruments, while NOAA oversees the GOES-R Series Program with the space agency through an integrated office.