NASA Podcasts

NASA, NOAA's GOES-O Ready To Launch
06.16.09
 
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Alicia Evans, Boeing GOES-O Test Director: The mission itself for GOES is incredibly exciting.

Chris Wheeler, NOAA GOES Team Lead: The interesting thing is that we get to operate satellites.

Paul Birnbaum, Boeing Mission Director: It’s really satisfying, you actually get to make it work see it operate; to see the fruits of my labor.

John Fiorello, NASA GOES-O Mission Operations Systems Engineer: It’s a very warm feeling; once we get to the end of it, seeing that the satellite is providing data that actually saves lives.

Alicia Evans, Boeing GOES-O Test Director: The biggest form of contamination for the satellite is the human body. So, what you have to do is you have to dress in a special suit; this jump suit protects you from producing contamination. That can actually be very harmful to the satellite because if it gets on optics and it goes in space, those optics can’t be cleaned.

Here we go, all ready to go into the airlock and heading to the clean room.

Paul Birnbaum, Boeing Mission Director: We are in Titusville, FL, which is where this test facility is and this is the GOES-O spacecraft behind me.

We are getting it ready to be put onto the launch pad in Cape Canaveral in a few weeks to launch out in space.

The satellite is built in El Segundo, CA, in our satellite manufacturing facility, and then we ship it out here on a plane. We have a special container, we put it on a C-17 plane and we ship it to Florida.

We need to make sure that everything on the satellites operates properly. We have to thoroughly test to make sure it will survive.

Alicia Evans, Boeing GOES-O Test Director: So probably the biggest tests are environmental tests.

So Vibration we actually shake the satellite just like it’s going to experience when it’s launching.

And the biggest test is SCTV, which is where we put the spacecraft in a thermal vacuum chamber so we pump it down to zero vacuum and simulate the space environment.

Voice: We have lift off..

John Fiorello, NASA GOES-O Mission Operations Systems Engineer: As we approach the launch date, we run through a series of tests to make sure that the satellite is healthy and to verify that all the personnel in the control center know exactly what they are supposed to do once the spacecraft is in orbit.

This is the GOES Launch Control Center. This is the area; the center of activity for everything that happens once the GOES satellite is released from the rocket, until it gets on orbit and through it’s on-orbit activity for the first six months, during which we check out the spacecraft and make sure it’s certified for operations.

Once the spacecraft is launched and it’s going into its geostationary orbit, we use NASA ground antennas to communicate to space from this control center.

Chris Wheeler, NOAA GOES Team Lead: These are the workstations that we use to operate the GOES-O satellite.

What these guys do; they are the first line of defense; performing all the commanding necessary to keep it safe.

Ok, so what he is doing here is he is monitoring the daily command schedule, which consists of all of the commands necessary to take the images of the Earth.

John Fiorello, NASA GOES-O Mission Operations Systems Engineer: It’s really the journey of going from the initial development of the satellite through the ability to be able to see the weather pictures on television that are taken from that satellite and see how well it’s performing…It’s a great feeling.

Alicia Evans, Boeing GOES-O Test Director: I get to work with stuff that goes into space…how cool is that…

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