NASA Podcasts

NASA/NOAA GOES-O: Countdown To Launch
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Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: I am Silvia with NASA Goddard Television and I am here at Cape Canaveral's Air Force Station. This behind me is launch pad 37. So, Andre, what is going on here in a few days?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: Well, something really exciting. Something that NASA people really love to do and that's launch satellites. I mean I can't think of anything more exciting than to do this for this program; to launch a satellite, get it in orbit and get it checked out.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: The GOES mission is a continuous mission and this is a spare satellite; so can you explain a little bit more about that?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: Well, since we are an operational mission, and everybody here knows what the importance is of a weather satellite. Everybody's seen the big hurricanes and how important it is to have a satellite in orbit.

Now, the US has two satellites in orbit that cover the United States but if one of those were to fail, then we need to have another one ready to go to put it right in place. So, we are launching this satellite in to a spare slot so when one of the other older satellites runs out of fuel, we replace it with the GOES-O satellite.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: What are some of the factors that could cause a delay for the GOES-O launch?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: Well, when you build a satellite and you build a launch vehicle, there are literally millions of parts and pieces that make up those satellites and those launch vehicles. On the day of launch there could be any kind of technical problem that could come up. So, all those things need to be assessed to make sure that we actually achieve orbit.

The other thing that we need to be concerned about is weather. We have entity time of the day here, there could be thunderstorms, and if there are large winds and lightning or things like that; it's not the type of environment that we want to launch into. So, we would stand down and wait for that. I that could cause a delay.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: What does the forecast look like for the GOES-O launch?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: Well, unfortunately we are calling for thunderstorms but we have an hour window so we are hoping that we will find an opportunity to launch this satellite and get it up there in orbit.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: So, if you were to tell someone why this mission is so important, what would you say?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: I would say, you already know it. Every night when you go home and you turn on your TV and you look at the weather channel, you are seeing the data that's coming from these satellites that we launch. It impacts your every day life.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: It must be really exciting time for you. How do you feel about it so close to launch?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: Oh, it's great. Let me tell you, we spend years and years on this mission, building the satellite, testing it, developing it, and to see it all come here in a culmination into this major event, it's very satisfying.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: Why is it that you are picking Cape Canaveral for GOES-O?

Andre Dress/GOES-N Series Deputy Project Manager: Cape Canaveral makes the most sense for GOES because this is where the majority of the launch vehicles are. So, launching from this Cape Canaveral Air Force Station actually provides us an advantage in savings in propellent that would actually take in cost to get the spacecraft to orbit so we take advantage of that.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: Thank you, Andre.

So it looks like the GOES mission is critical for predicting severe weather. For more information about the mission, for some cool animations and video, visit

Background voice (countdown): 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...and lift off of the Delta IV rocket with GOES-O; enhancing quality and reliability of the weather satellite for the forecaster.

Sound of blasting rocket.

Closing music.

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