BLOG: New weather satellite is now fully operational

Posted at 3:06 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 16:31:33-05

After over a year of careful testing, NOAA's new GOES-16 satellite is now operating as GOES-East, covering the eastern United States and the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the coast of Africa to monitor tropical waves that could become hurricanes.

Even before it was deemed fully operational earlier this week on December 18, 2017, we were using the imagery from the satellite on-air during our weathercasts for months.

The previous GOES-East satellite or GOES-13 has been placed into storage in orbit. GOES-14 is also in an orbital storage and is the official backup satellite for GOES-West and GOES-East should a problem occur. There are propulsion systems on-board the satellites and people at the satellite operations center can move the satellites around in orbit.

GOES-16 (named GOES-R at the time of launch) lifted off on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida on November 19, 2016 and was placed into orbit 22,300 miles above Earth.

The next satellite, GOES-S (or GOES-17 when in orbit for testing), is scheduled to launch from Florida on March 1, 2018, and after lengthy testing, will become GOES-West, covering the western United States and the Pacific Ocean all the way to Guam.

You can view and download the latest imagery from GOES-East from this link: GOES-East Image Viewer