NOAA Updates Its Weather Constellation and Retires an Old Workhorse

Before NOAA retired the spacecraft on Jan. 8, GOES-13 captured images of many major storms, including this image from Sept. 1, 2017, showing Tropical Storm Lidia and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

AUSTIN, Texas — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administratio nannounced plans Jan. 8 to retire its decade-old Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite  (GOES) 13 to make way for its next generation: GOES 16 launched in 2016  and GOES-S scheduled to launch in March.

After a year of on-orbit checkout and validation of onboard instruments, GOES-16 was officially dubbed GOES-East in December when it began to act as NOAA’s primary weather satellite staring down on the continental United States and Atlantic Ocean. [GOES-16 Satellite’s Most Amazing Photos of Earth from Space ]

NOAA plans to launch its second next-generation geostationary weather satellites, GOES-S, in March on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Once NOAA confirms that satellite’s capabilities, which can take as long as a year, it will replace GOES-15 as the agency’s primary weather satellite focused on the western United States, Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean.

This story was provided by SpaceNews , dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.

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