June 16, 2009

NASA prepares for GOES-O launch

The U.S. space agency is preparing to launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-O from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The liftoff of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-O satellite is targeted for June 16, during a 6:14 a.m. to 7:14 a.m. EDT launch window.

Launching GOES-O will contribute the data needed for accurate NOAA forecasts for severe weather, including hurricanes that threaten at least 35 million Americans living in areas vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes, Steve Kirkner, GOES program manager at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center, said.

The space agency said GOES-O will be the second spacecraft to be launched in the GOES N Series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. The satellites provide continuous observations of 60 percent of the Earth including the continental United States, providing weather monitoring and forecast operations as well as a continuous stream of environmental information.

NOAA manages the GOES program, establishes requirements, provides all funding and distributes environmental satellite data for the United States. NASA manages the design, development and launch of the satellites for NOAA.