Weather satellite lifts off a day late
Washington, DC - The US's latest weather satellite was successfully launched on Saturday from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The satellite is the second to be launched in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) N series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. These provide the familiar weather pictures seen on United States television newscasts every day.
GOES-O will initially act as a spare for the network, which is intended to improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world, particularly hurricane tracking.
It lifted off on a Delta IV rocket a day late because of storms.
"All indications are that GOES-O is in a normal orbit, with all spacecraft systems functioning properly," said Andre Dress, GOES deputy project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "We are proud of our support teams and pleased with the performance of the Delta IV launch vehicle."
Approximately four hours and 21 minutes after launch, the spacecraft separated from the launch vehicle. The Universal Space Network Western Australia tracking site in Dongara monitored the spacecraft separation.
On July 7, GOES-O will be placed in its final orbit and renamed GOES-14. Approximately 24 days after launch, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems will turn engineering control over to NASA. About five months later, NASA will transfer operational control of GOES-14 to NOAA. The satellite will be checked out, stored in orbit and available for activation should one of the operational GOES satellites degrade or exhaust its fuel.