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Press Release 94-22
 
 
Immediate
Mary Ann Peto
(Bus: 216/433-2902)

NASA Lewis Research Center Engineers Responsible for Launch Management of New Weather Satellite

Cleveland, OH -- More than 25 engineers from NASA's Lewis Research Center will be on hand at the Kennedy Space Center to oversee the launch of the latest and greatly improved weather satellite--GOES-I--aboard an Atlas/Centaur rocket. Launch is targeted for April 12, 1994, at the opening of a launch window which extends from 2:00 to 3:22 a.m. EDT.

GOES-I is the first in a series of five new satellites which will provide significant improvements in weather imagery and atmospheric sounding information, which is vital to this country in predicting severe storms thus helping to save lives and dollars.

The GOES-I spacecraft will be called GOES-8 in orbit, and after a six-month checkout period will be positioned over the equator at 75 degrees west longitude.

GOES weather satellites are designed to photograph and measure weather patterns from 22,300 miles above the earth. The first in a series of six GOES satellites was launched in 1975. Since 1989 only one operational satellite, GOES-7, remains in orbit. A European satellite has helped fill the gap left when GOES-6 ceased operations in January 1989.

Lewis' Launch Vehicle Project Office, which has managed the Atlas/Centaur vehicle program for over 20 years, is responsible for this launch under NASA's plan to acquire Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) transportation services commercially.

The General Dynamics Corporation Commercial Launch Services in San Diego, Calif., under contract to Lewis Research Center, will provide the launch vehicle and launch services which includes overall launch vehicle performance and mission success.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the project management of the GOES program under NASA's Office of Mission to Planet Earth.

GOES-I was built for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by Space Systems/LORAL of Palo Alto, Calif. NOAA is responsible for the in-orbit operation of the system.

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