Boeing has received the first on-orbit signals from the third Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) built by Boeing for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The satellite, GOES-P, is healthy and ready to begin thruster firings to move to its on-orbit test location. GOES-P is a Boeing 601 satellite that will provide enhanced Earth-observation and weather-monitoring services.
GOES-P launched on a Delta IV rocket at 6:57 p.m. Eastern time on March 4 from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Controllers confirmed initial contact with the spacecraft today at 12:52 a.m. Eastern time at the NASA Deep Space Network Canberra ground station in Australia. Boeing Launch Services procured the vehicle and mission services from United Launch Alliance.
“GOES-P’s precision imaging and navigation technologies will improve weather forecasting by providing image data that is two to three times more accurately located,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.
“We look forward to working with NASA and NOAA in the months ahead as GOES-P is tested and deployed as an on-orbit spare that can be called immediately to action, especially during emergencies.”
GOES-P will be placed in geosynchronous orbit at 89.5 degrees west longitude for approximately five months of on-orbit operational testing. Following NASA and NOAA’s acceptance, GOES-P will join GOES-14 (formerly called GOES-O) in storage at 105 degrees west longitude to operate as backups for primary satellites GOES-11 and GOES-13. GOES-13 is in the process of being activated to replace GOES-12.
Together, the satellites will improve weather forecasting with sharper vision and longer life and help NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center monitor severe weather events.
The GOES N-P series represents the newest generation of satellite technology and a significant improvement over earlier environmental systems. The prime instrument on GOES-P, the imager, captures images of the Earth with a resolution accuracy of 1 kilometer from an altitude of 22,240 miles above the Earth’s surface.
The satellite’s highly stable optical bench enables more accurate predictions of storm location and movement by protecting the operational instruments from thermal or motion disruptions. GOES-P also can store enough power to operate during the eclipse season, when there is no sunlight to power its solar array.
United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches NASA/NOAA Weather Satellite
United Launch Alliance, on behalf of Boeing Launch Services, successfully launched the third of three next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) missions for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The satellite, designated GOES P was launched aboard a Delta IV rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at 6:57 p.m. EST. The first GOES satellite in the series, designated GOES N, was launched here on May 24, 2006. The second, GOES O, was launched here June 27, 2009. This GOES P launch was ULA’s 39th launch in 39 months since the company’s inception in December 2006.
Following a nominal four hour, 21-minute flight, the Delta IV deployed the spacecraft. The multi-mission GOES series of satellites will provide NOAA and NASA scientists with data to support weather, solar and space operations, and will enable future science improvements in weather prediction and remote sensing. Additionally, GOES P will provide data on global climate changes and capability for search and rescue.
“This has been a tremendous nearly four-year partnership to place all three GOES satellites in their proper orbit,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Delta Product Line. “ULA congratulates Boeing and its NASA and NOAA customers for the successful launch of GOES P. The GOES series will improve weather forecasting across the globe. The weather disasters of the past five years across the world have clearly shown how important these satellites are to all of humanity.”
The Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) configuration launch vehicle used a single common booster core with a Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, two Alliant Techsystems GEM 60 solid rocket motors, a PWR RL10B-2 upper stage engine and a four-meter diameter upper stage and composite payload fairing. The GOES P launch marked the fifth flight of the Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) configuration and the 12th flight of the Delta IV family of launch vehicles.
ULA’s next launch, currently scheduled for April 19, is the Orbital Test Vehicle mission for the Department of Defense aboard an Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-41 at CCAFS.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Denver, Colo.; Decatur, Ala.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Air Force Release
USAF Launches NASA’S Geostationary Environmental Satellite (GOES-P)
The U.S. Air Force successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium Launch Vehicle carrying the NASA GOES-P satellite at 6:57 p.m. EST today from Space Launch Complex 37.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) represents a continuation of the newest generation of environmental satellites built by Boeing for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the technical guidance and project management of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
The information sent by GOES spacecraft is used for a host of applications, including weather monitoring and prediction models, ocean temperatures and moisture locations, climate studies, cryosphere – ice, snow, glaciers – detection and extent, land temperatures and crop conditions, and hazards detection.
“This safe and successful launch by this amazing multi-agency team of professionals will help ensure vital atmospheric and environmental information will be sent to users enhancing weather forecasts and climate studies,” said Col. Ed Wilson, 45th Space Wing commander. “This mission showcases why the 45 Space Wing continues to be the world’s premiere gateway to space.”
The mission marked the third GOES satellite launched on a Delta IV rocket. The launch was the ninth flight of a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS, and the third launch this year on the Eastern Range.
“Only 89 calendar days have passed since our last launch making this campaign the shortest time between two consecutive Delta IV launches from the same pad,” said Capt. John “JJ” McAfee, 5th Space Launch Squadron, who served as Delta IV Flight Mission Lead. “Over the holiday season and through this successful launch, the Delta launch team overcame numerous challenges, streamlined our processes, and elevated our partnerships to the next level.”
Pratt and Whitney Release
Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne Helps Boost Weather-Monitor Satellite Into Space
Canoga Park CA – Two Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne engines helped boost the last in a series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, designated GOES-P, into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., today to help meteorologists monitor severe weather while improving the daily forecast. It will also provide early warning of solar disturbances that disrupt communications, navigation and power systems on earth.
Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, powered a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket procured by Boeing Launch Services with an RS-68 engine and an upper stage RL10B-2 engine. This was the 245th launch of a Delta vehicle using Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne engine power.
The Boeing-built GOES-P was developed by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is equipped with an advanced attitude control system that provides enhanced image resolution and navigation to better locate severe storms and other weather conditions.
GOES-P is the third and last spacecraft to be launched in the GOES N-P series of geostationary environmental weather satellites, which orbit at the same speed as Earth’s rotation. This allows the GOES-P to stay above a fixed point 22,300 miles above the Earth’s surface and provides constant monitoring of atmospheric conditions that can trigger tornadoes, flash floods and hurricanes.
“Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne congratulates Boeing, ULA, NASA and NOAA for the successful launch of GOES-P, and is proud to continue our vital role in helping boost technology that will monitor unpredictable weather patterns,” said Craig Stoker, RS-68 program manager, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne.
The upper-stage RL10B-2 helped place the satellite into orbit. “The RL10B-2 performed exactly as expected, and we are honored to supply the ride for this satellite that will be used by scientists in their mission to provide early warning during severe weather conditions,” said Christine Cooley, RL10 program manager, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne.
Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., a part of Pratt and Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.