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NOAA’s GOES-U Satellite Launches

Looking down a runway, we see clouds of vapor billowing outward as a rocket takes off. A black tower structure called the gantry is on the left of the rocket's flames, and further in the distance on the right is a white water tower.

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-U (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) satellite lifts off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 25, 2024. GOES-U is the fourth and final satellite in the current series of advanced weather satellites; it will provide continuous coverage of weather and hazardous environmental conditions across much of the Western Hemisphere.

In addition to its critical role in predicting weather on Earth, the GOES series of satellites helps forecasters predict space weather near Earth that can interfere with satellite electronics, GPS, and radio communications. The GOES-U satellite has a new space weather instrument, the Compact Coronograph-1, which blocks the Sun’s bright light so scientists can observe the relatively fainter solar atmosphere.

GOES-U will take about two weeks to reach geostationary orbit. Once there, the satellite will be renamed GOES-19. Follow GOES-U’s journey.

Image Credit: SpaceX