The GOES-N satellite is targeted to launch May 4 onboard a Boeing expendable launch vehicle Delta IV (4,2) with a 3-burn second stage operation. Once in orbit GOES-N will be designated GOES-13 and will complete checkout and be placed in on-orbit storage as a replacement for an older GOES satellite.
After arriving, the satellite was transported to Astrotech in Titusville, Fla., where final testing of the imaging system, instrumentation, communications and power systems will be performed. These tests will take approximately two months to complete. Then the spacecraft will be fueled with propellant for the attitude control system, encapsulated in the nose fairing and prepared for transport to the launch pad.
GOES-N is the first spacecraft to be launched in the new GOES-N/O/P series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. The GOES satellites continuously provide observations of 60 percent of the Earth including the continental United States, providing weather monitoring and forecast operations as well as a continuous and reliable stream of environmental information and severe weather warnings.
On board GOES-N will be an advanced attitude control system using star trackers and an optical bench onto which the Imager and Sounder are mounted providing enhanced instrument-pointing ability. These enhancements improve image navigation and registration to better locate severe storms and other events important to NOAA. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) have set a higher standard of accuracy for the GOES-N series, including data pixel location to approximately two kilometers from geosynchronous orbit of 35,000 km (22,300 miles) above the Earth's surface.
The multi-mission GOES-N Series will be a vital contributor to weather, solar, and space operations and future science improvements with weather prediction and remote sensing. The GOES-N Series will aid severe storm warnings, resource management, search and rescue, emergency managers, and likely lead to additional advances in environmental sciences and multifaceted data applications of remotely sensed phenomena. GOES-N data will add to the global climate change databases of knowledge, embracing many civil and government environmental forecasting organizations that work to benefit people everywhere and help save lives.
GOES-N will carry the government-furnished ITT built Imager and Sounder instruments to provide regular measurements of the Earth's atmosphere, cloud cover, ocean temperatures, and land surfaces. GOES-N will carry a new operational government-furnished Solar X-ray Imager built by Lockheed. Space Environment Monitor instruments were part of the Boeing spacecraft contract and were built by Science Applications International Corporation and Assurance Technology Corporation.
The Boeing Delta IV (4,2) Expendable Launch Vehicle was erected on February 16, 2005, at the Space Launch Complex (SLC 37B) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The two solid rocket boosters were attached the following week. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the procurement of the GOES satellites for NOAA including final testing in Florida and the initial on-orbit checkout. NOAA is responsible for satellite operation, data distribution and management of the program.
Boeing Expendable Launch Systems will conduct the commercial launch with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license. Boeing is responsible for the Delta IV launch vehicle processing at SLC-37B, the integration of the GOES-N spacecraft with the Boeing Delta IV and the launch countdown activities.
For more information about GOES-N and the geostationary satellites on the Web, visit:
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