Launch Spotlight: ULA launches a new NOAA weather satellite

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 is set to launch the GOES-T weather satellite at 4:38 p.m. EST on March 1, 2022. This NOAA satellite will replace the existing GOES-17 (West) satellite which has had issues with its Advanced Baseline Imager.

Launch Overview

Launch Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 4:38 p.m. EST

Payload: GOES-T Weather Satellite

Rocket: Atlas V 541

Launch Pad: SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: Geostationary Orbit

Landing Site: None, expendable vehicle

The Mission

GOES-T is the third satellite in the GOES-R Series and will be operated by NOAA once in orbit. This satellite is set to replace the GOES-17 satellite, launched back in 2018, due to issues with its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). The ABI is the main camera system onboard the satellite, and due to an issue with the cooling system, infrared and near-infrared imaging was only available for 12 hours a day. GOES-T had it’s ABI removed to be repaired following the discovery of the GOES-17 issue.

What is the Atlas V?

The Atlas rocket has been a workhorse for the United States military and NASA. The Atlas V family tree goes back to the late 1950s as one of the US military’s first ICBMs. However, the military quickly determined liquid-fueled rockets were better suited in the satellite business, and the Atlas launcher was born. NASA and the Department of Defense used the Atlas for Project Mercury, Gemini, and some of the most critical scientific and national security missions throughout its history.

The different versions of Atlas V – Credit: United Launch Alliance

Launching this mission will be the 541 configuration, nicknamed the “Dominator.” It features a five-meter diameter payload fairing, four solid rocket boosters, and a single RL-10 upper-stage engine.

The Weather

March 1, 2022, 4:38 p.m. EST

  • 80% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
    • Liftoff Winds
  • Risk(s):
    • N/A

24-hour Delay

  • 80% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • N/A

Last Updated: Mar. 1, 9:45 a.m. EST

Read the full forecast here

Where to watch?

You can find coverage of Tuesday’s Atlas V launch on NASA’s YouTube channel. The live stream is scheduled to go live about 30-40 minutes before launch.

Featured Image: United Launch Alliance – Mars 2020 Launch

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