GOES-O Moves Ever Closer to Launch with Transport to the Delta IV Launch Pad
The weather satellite, GOES-O, prepared for a June 26 launch as it moved this week from Titusville Fla. to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
GOES-O will join a system of other GOES weather satellites that provide timely environmental information to meteorologists and the public. The GOES--- Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite--- system graphically displays the intensity, path and size of storms. Early warning of impending severe weather enhances the public's ability to take shelter and protect property.
The GOES-O spacecraft, encapsulated in the Delta IV fairing, was rolled out of the Astrotech Facility in Titusville and transported to Launch Pad 37B at the air force station on June 7. It was shipped in the silent of the night in order to minimize the impact to public roadways. The transport was slow and methodical and took most of the night to complete. Special care was taken to protect the $499M technically advanced weather satellite.
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Once the spacecraft arrived at the launch pad, it was slowly hoisted on top of the 165 foot launch vehicle.
With the GOES-O spacecraft and the Delta IV launch vehicle fully integrated, the NASA and industry teams will perform final processing and testing in preparation for a June 26, 2009, evening launch. With the launch vehicle technical issues coming to a close, the June 26th launch date looks promising. The GOES teams are well prepared for the launch and are looking forward to the spacecraft in orbit activation, checkout, and successful handover to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA manages the operational environmental satellite program and establishes requirements, provides all funding and distributes environmental satellite data for the United States. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., procures and manages the development and launch of the satellites for NOAA on a cost reimbursable basis.
Goddard Space Flight Center