The launch and orbit insertion of #GOESS (GOES17) was flawless and spectacular

As many of you know, I was invited by NASA to attend the launch event today (as press) of the newest GOES-S weather satellite, which will become GOES-17 once commissioned. I have been on Twitter all day about it @wattsupwiththat  The Atlas-V carrying the satellite successfully launched at 5:02pm ET, to provide researchers, meteorologists and the public with faster, more accurate weather data. And let me tell you, that’s the truth.

There’s a tremendous amount I learned and witnessed, which I’ll write up in the days ahead. But for now, here’s the launch from 3.5 miles away via my Nikon Coolpix 900, all hand held video.

Video by Anthony Watts

And afterwards, the exhaust trail:

Photo by Anthony Watts

From NASA:

The second in a series of four next-generation weather satellites is now in geosynchronous transfer orbit above the Earth. NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 on March 1, 2018, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-S). Liftoff was at 5:02 p.m. EST. Photo credit: NASA/Bill White

There were no weather constraints at the time of rocket liftoff.

“It was a chamber of commerce day,” said NASA Launch Director Tim Dunn. “We’ve been working on GOES-S for about 15 months. This is a huge year for the Launch Services Program.”

GOES-S separated from the United Launch Alliance Centaur upper stage at 8:34 p.m. EST, followed shortly afterward by mission manager confirmation that the spacecraft’s Stage 1 solar array successfully deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.

When it reaches geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES-17. It is the second in the GOES-R Series of weather satellites that includes GOES-16 (formerly GOES-R), along with -S, -T and -U. When the satellite is declared operational, late this year, it will occupy NOAA’s GOES-West position and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, Mexico, Central America and the Pacific Ocean, all the way to New Zealand. More information about NOAA’s GOES satellites is available at

via Watts Up With That?

March 2, 2018 at 03:28AM

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