GOES-P All Fueled Up
The GOES spacecraft continues its processing at the Astrotech
Facility in Titusville, Fla. and fuel was loaded into the GOES-P
spacecraft on Saturday, January 30. The fuel will keep GOES-P in
orbit for about 14 years.
Just as you wouldn't want your car's gas tank to leak, engineers don't want a satellite to leak
fuel. So, a team of engineers performed propulsion system
pressurization and leak checks before fueling GOES-P. Those
preparations were completed on January 22.
The GOES-P spacecraft was moved to the fueling stand and the team began
fueling the spacecraft. The oxidizer was successfully loaded on
January 28. Like a fire needs oxygen to burn, the spacecraft fuel
needs the oxidizer to ignite in space, where there is no air. .
The fuel was successfully loaded on January 30.
After carefully lifting and moving the fueled spacecraft, the team
successfully mounted GOES P on top of the Delta IV Payload Attach
Fitting (PAF). This was completed on February 1. The PAF is a
conical shape structure that the spacecraft mounts onto inside the
launch vehicle. The spacecraft rides on the PAF until it separates
at approximately 22 thousand miles above the Earth's surface.
The launch vehicle continues processing on stand and the United Launch
Alliance (ULA) is working off the technical issues that remain.
The team is working towards a March 1 launch date.
GOES-P is the latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, or NOAA. The Delta IV rocket will be launched by
United Launch Alliance for Boeing Launch Services under an FAA
commercial license. Launch is targeted for no earlier than March 1.
For information on GOES-P, visit
Goddard Space Flight Center