Friday, March 5, 2010

Newest NASA weather satellite launches at Cape Canaveral

The $500 million Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P) lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 6:57 pm on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket which will hold the weather-watching satellite to its orbit around 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.

GOES-P is on its method into orbit to begin a 10-year mission to keep a watchful eye on our world, NASA said on the satellite’s launch blog, noting that all systems were performing precisely as expected.

Once it arrive at its orbit, GOES-P will collect and send back to Earth data that will be used by scientists to monitor weather, make forecasts and concern warnings about meteorological incidents. Meteorologists say they couldn’t track storms or issue the suitable warnings without them.

The satellite will also perceive ocean and land temperatures, monitor space weather, relay communications and provide search-and-rescue support. GOES-P is the newest in a long line of GOES satellites, the first of which was launched in 1975.

The spacecraft will undertake testing for the next six months and will finally be an orbiting spare in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite network. The satellites are controlled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

They give vital images of hurricanes and other storms that threaten the United States. The satellite will fall its letter suffix for a number, becoming GOES-15 once it is in space. The launch was passed out by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. This is the 39th winning launch for ULA in 39 months.

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