NASA is making final preparations for the launch of a next-generation weather satellite on Tuesday, March 1, and you can watch the event online.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-T (GOES-T) will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard an Atlas V rocket operated by United Launch Alliance.
GOES-T is the third satellite in NOAA’s next-generation GOES-R series and — just in case you’re not confused enough yet — will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches geostationary orbit. GOES-16 and GOES-17 were launched in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
The network of satellites will enable meteorologists to accurately monitor and forecast local weather events that impact public safety, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, hurricanes, flash floods, and other extreme weather incidents, according to NASA. It will also detect and monitor environmental hazards, among them wildfires and volcanic eruptions.
Built by Lockheed Martin and with a mission duration of around 15 years, GOES-T will cover a wide area that includes the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, and the Pacific Ocean.
Commenting on the upcoming mission, NASA launch site integration manager Michael Rodelo said: “As a Florida resident, I experience the benefits of the GOES satellites every hurricane season, and I’m looking forward to following GOES-T once it becomes operational.”
Rodelo added: “The GOES satellites also monitor space weather and the images that are produced are always stunning — I’m excited about the amazing images this mission will bring us.”
NASA recently shared images of the 6,000-pound satellite being fitted inside the rocket fairing in preparation for launch day.
What to expect
NASA will livestream footage of ULA’s Atlas V rocket blasting off from the Cape Canaveral launchpad and making its way to space. Depending on the camera locations, the real-time footage may also feature a rocket’s-eye view as the launch vehicle climbs high above Earth.
How to watch
GOES-T is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4:38 p.m. ET (1:38 p.m. PT) on Tuesday, March 1.
You can watch the livestream via the player embedded at the top of this page, or by visiting NASA’s YouTube channel.
Last-minute technical issues, as well as poor weather at the launch location, could prompt Mission Control to delay the mission. Be sure to check NASA’s Twitter feed for the very latest information.