GOES-R Series News | 2024

    June

  • June 6, 2024: Prelaunch Media Viewing of NOAA's GOES-U Satellite

    GOES-U Art Challenge Selections
    Members of the news media had an opportunity for an up-close look at NOAA's GOES-U satellite on June 6, 2024, inside the Astrotech Space Operations Facility in Titusville, near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
    Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

    On June 6, 2024, NASA and NOAA hosted a media availability to view and photograph the GOES-U satellite at the Astrotech Space Operations payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida. Subject matter experts from NASA, NOAA, Lockheed Martin, and L3Harris Technologies provided a mission overview and answered questions about the satellite’s capabilities to assist meteorologists with predicting, observing, and tracking hazardous weather events on Earth and in space. The opportunity provided media with a last look at the final weather-observing and environmental monitoring satellite in NOAA’s GOES-R Series before technicians prepare it for launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. View photos and video of media day.

  • June 4, 2024: GOES-U Art Challenge Selections Announced

    GOES-U Art Challenge Selections

    Last month, we challenged kids to draw how they imagine lightning looks either within the clouds or striking the ground, from above the sky or from their window. The GOES-U satellite will help scientists “see” lightning and predict where it will strike, helping meteorologists forecast the path of hurricanes, how strong severe thunderstorms can become, and when tornadoes will form. Thank you to everyone who participated! We chose 23 selections to feature.

    May

  • May 21, 2024: Earth from Orbit: Ocean Color Observations

    Earth from Orbit: Ocean Color Observations
 image

    Earth-observing satellites can see many different things, from changing seasons, weather patterns, and land features. From their unique view, satellites can also observe the deep swirling hues and colors of the ocean. With data from NASA’s PACE mission now available, NOAA and NASA are collaborating to develop applications for monitoring various indicators of ecosystem health. NOAA is also preparing for a more advanced Ocean Color instrument (OCX) to be flown on the future GeoXO mission. Having an ocean color instrument on a geostationary satellite such as GeoXO will allow continuous monitoring of a specific area. Additionally, its higher resolution imagery will improve observations of water clarity, chlorophyll concentrations, and help distinguish different types of phytoplankton. GeoXO will begin operating in the early 2030s, taking over after the GOES-R series reaches the end of its operational lifetime.

  • May 1, 2024: GOES-U Art Challenge

    GOES-U Art Challenge image

    Have you ever watched a lightning storm from your window at home? Did you know that scientists can use weather satellites to watch lightning from above, too? On June 25, 2024, NOAA will be launching its latest weather satellite called GOES-U (GOES is short for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite). GOES-U will be the fourth and final satellite in the GOES-R group of satellites that keep an eye on Earth’s weather from space. GOES-U will also help scientists “see” lightning and predict where it will strike.

    Challenge: Draw how you imagine lightning to look, either within the clouds or striking the ground, from above the sky or from your window. Use any materials you would like – crayons, markers, pencils, pens, aluminum foil, paint, yarn, or anything else you find. The sky's the limit!

    The art challenge is open through May 31, 2024. Selected art submissions will appear online and in social media the first week of June. Visit our art challenge webpage for instructions for submitting your art.

    April

  • April 19, 2024: Earth from Orbit: Celebrating Earth Day with NOAA Satellites

    Earth from Orbit: Celebrating Earth Day with NOAA Satellites image

    Throughout history, humans have wondered what Earth looked like from above. The advent of satellites changed our perspective dramatically, though early imagery was often blurry and lacked detail. Today, thanks to decades of technological advancements and innovation, the quality and resolution of satellite imagery has significantly improved. Satellites from NOAA and other organizations around the world capture vital information that help us stay safe, while also sharing the beauty of our planet from afar. For us, every day is Earth Day!

  • April 12, 2024: Earth from Orbit: NOAA Satellites View Total Solar Eclipse

    Earth from Orbit: NOAA Satellites View Total Solar Eclipse

    On April 8, 2024, the moon moved directly between the Earth and sun, completely blocking the sun’s light and causing a total solar eclipse. During this event, the moon’s shadow passed over parts of Mexico, the United States, and Canada, and millions of people were treated to a celestial show where the sky darkened as if it were dawn or dusk throughout its path of totality. NOAA satellites play a crucial role in observing solar eclipses and their effects. GOES-16 and GOES-18 watched the moon’s shadow pass over the Earth. The satellites also captured the effects of the eclipse shadow on surface weather, including the drop in land and air surface temperature, and dissipation of clouds. Although solar eclipses happen all over the Earth about twice a year, the next total solar eclipse is not predicted to occur in the United States until March 30, 2033, where it will be seen from northwestern Alaska. Another will occur across parts of Canada, Montana, and the Dakotas on Aug. 23, 2044. However, it won’t be until Aug. 12, 2045, when one will cross the contiguous United States from California to Florida.

  • April 11, 2024: First Quarter 2024 GOES-R/GeoXO Newsletter

    GOES-U Timeline

    The GOES-R/GeoXO quarterly newsletter for January – March 2024 is now available. Excitement is building for the GOES-U launch, now scheduled for June 25, 2024. SpaceX has repaired the liquid oxygen leak found during testing of the center core booster and launch preparations are back on track. The team is preparing for satellite fueling and encapsulation in the rocket fairing, conducting mission tests and rehearsals, and preparing for the remaining pre-launch reviews. Meanwhile, we are also working hard on GeoXO. The team conducted a successful kickoff meeting for the Sounder and work continues on the Imager. Evaluation boards are busy reviewing proposals for the spacecraft and the OCX, LMX, and ACX instruments. We plan to award the remaining GeoXO contracts by fall.

    March

  • March 26, 2024: Earth from Orbit: NOAA Satellites Detect Severe Solar Storm

    A image of the Earth a Severe Solar Storm

    On March 23–24, 2024, NOAA’s GOES-16 and GOES-18 satellites, and others operated by international partners, observed numerous flares erupt from the sun, including a powerful X-class solar flare. Additionally, a surge of extremely hot plasma, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), raced toward Earth, resulting in geomagnetic storms and auroras. The EXIS instruments onboard both GOES-16 and GOES-18 detected the flare. The satellites’ SUVI instruments viewed the flare and the initiation of the CME. Solar activity is expected to increase as Solar Cycle 25 reaches its peak, which is expected this year. NOAA and partner satellites will continue to watch for increased solar activity.

  • March 26, 2024: GOES-U Mission Overview Video

    NOAA is preparing for a milestone satellite launch in 2024. GOES-U will be the fourth and final satellite in NOAA’s latest generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites called the GOES-R Series—the nation’s most advanced weather-observing and environmental monitoring satellite system. Like the three other GOES-R Series satellites already in orbit, GOES-U will provide near real-time, high-resolution imagery that will deliver critical information for weather forecasts, severe weather prediction, lightning detection, and space weather forecasts. GOES U will also carry something new when it launches – a critical space weather instrument called the Compact Coronagraph-1, or CCOR-1. Being able to monitor the sun’s corona helps scientists detect and characterize coronal mass ejections that can spark geomagnetic storms here on Earth– the costliest type of space weather events that can cause widespread damage to power grids, satellites, and communication and navigation systems.

  • March 26, 2024: NASA, SpaceX Target New Launch Date for NOAA Weather Satellite

    GOES-U Logo

    NASA and SpaceX now are targeting Tuesday, June 25, for the launch of GOES-U, the fourth and final satellite in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R Series. The new launch date allowed time for teams to fully repair and test the Falcon Heavy core booster after a liquid oxygen leak was identified during routine new booster testing in February. NASA and SpaceX teams have resumed preparation of the GOES-U launch. GOES-U will launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  • March 7, 2024: Earth from Orbit: Fires Rage Across Texas Panhandle

    Fires Rage Across Texas Panhandle image

    Since late February, NOAA satellites have been tracking wildfires that spread through the Texas Panhandle. The largest wildfire in the state’s history broke out on Feb. 26 and quickly spread, fueled by dry, windy conditions. By Mar. 4, the blaze, known as the Smokehouse Creek fire, had become one of the largest fires in U.S. history. GOES-16 (GOES East) observed these fires in near-real time. This geostationary satellite keeps constant watch over the same geographic area over time, and helps to locate fires, detect changes in a fire’s behavior, and predict its direction. By combining data from multiple channels on its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument, both a fire’s hot spot and associated smoke plume can be visualized.

  • March 1, 2024: Celebrating Women in GEO

    Women's history month banner image

    In honor of Women’s History Month, a new web feature turns the spotlight on women in NOAA’s Office of Geostationary Earth Orbit Observations. Celebrating Women in GEO tells the stories of women who are driving innovation and who have been instrumental within its geostationary satellite programs. These remarkable individuals exemplify the spirit of innovation, dedication, and leadership, and are helping to shape the future of how we monitor our constantly changing world. Ultimately, the work these women do helps safeguard lives, protect communities, and preserve our planet’s vital natural resources. Their contributions are also inspiring future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

  • March 1, 2024: Earth from Orbit: Great Lakes Ice Reaches Historic Low

    Great Lakes Ice Reaches Historic Low image

    As we leave meteorological winter behind, NOAA satellites have been monitoring the extent of ice coverage in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes typically see peak ice coverage in late February to early March. Ice plays an important role in the ecosystems, economy, and coastal resilience of the Great Lakes. In 2024, ice coverage reached a historic low. A number of factors have contributed to the historic low this year, such as a strong El Niño and well above-average temperatures this winter. NOAA satellites have observed little ice on the Great Lakes this year.

    February

  • February 27, 2024: Launch of GOES-U Satellite Delayed

    GOES-U Arrives at KSC

    NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than May 2024 for the launch of NOAA's GOES-U satellite. The new date allows for additional testing and preparation of a new Falcon Heavy center core booster after a liquid oxygen leak was discovered during routine new booster testing. GOES-U is the fourth and final satellite in the GOES-R Series of advanced geostationary satellites.

  • February 8, 2024: Earth from Orbit: GOES-U Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

    GOES-U Arrives at KSC

    The latest video in the Earth from Orbit series highlights GOES-U’s arrival at Kennedy Space Center last month. After being packed in a high-tech shipping container that acts as a mobile clean room, GOES-U caught a ride aboard a C-5 Super Galaxy aircraft from Buckley Space Force Base in Colorado to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After landing, the satellite was taken to Astrotech Space Operations, where it was removed from its shipping container, inspected, and placed onto a test stand. GOES-U will now undergo final preparations for a spring 2024 launch from Kennedy Space Center, where it will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

    January

  • January 23, 2024: GOES-U Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

    GOES-U Arrives at Kennedy Space Center
    The satellite is in Florida to begin final preparations for its upcoming launch.

    NOAA’s GOES-U, the fourth and final satellite in the GOES-R Series of advanced weather-observing and environmental monitoring satellites, arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 23, 2024, to begin final preparations for its upcoming launch. Shipping a satellite is no small feat. GOES-U is the size of a small school bus and weighs over 6,000 pounds! The spacecraft team at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, where GOES-U was built, packed the satellite in a high-tech shipping container that protected its sensitive instruments and acted as a mobile clean room during transport. GOES-U was then driven to Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, and loaded on the C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transport that carried it to Florida. GOES-U safely landed at the NASA Launch and Landing Facility airstrip at Kennedy Space Center and was transported to the Astrotech Space Operations spacecraft processing facility in nearby Titusville, where it will go through a series of electrical tests to confirm it is working properly and mechanical configurations to prepare it for launch. GOES-U is scheduled to launch no earlier than April 30, 2024.

  • January 17, 2024: GOES-U: Road to Launch

    an image of the Earth with the text 2023 Satellite Imagery: A Year in Review

    NOAA’s GOES-U, the fourth and final satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R Series, the Western Hemisphere’s most advanced weather-observing and environmental monitoring system, is entering the final stage of preparations before liftoff. NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than April 30 for the launch of GOES-U on a Falcon Heavy rocket. The GOES-U team has spent years building the instruments and spacecraft, integrating all the satellite’s components, and conducting rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand the harsh launch conditions and successfully take up residence 22,236 miles above Earth. Before that happens, the spacecraft must complete several final milestones. Learn more about GOES-U’s road to launch.

  • January 11, 2024: Fourth Quarter 2023 GOES-R/GeoXO Newsletter

    an image GOES program managers and L3Harris employees
    The GOES-R Program and L3Harris celebrated the GOES-R ground system development contract close-out

    The GOES-R/GeoXO quarterly newsletter for October – December 2023 is now available. Happy New Year! It’s a very exciting time for the GEO Program! We are gearing up to launch the last of the GOES-R Series satellites. GOES-U will soon ship to Kennedy Space Center and begin final preparations for its planned launch in April. GeoXO also had a successful quarter. The final development RFP, for the ACX instrument, was released in October. Evaluation boards are busy reviewing proposals for the spacecraft and the OCX, LMX, and ACX instruments. GOES-16 and GOES-18 continue to provide critical data to keep us informed of and safe from severe weather and environmental hazards. The program is looking forward to more GEO successes in 2024!

  • January 4, 2024: Earth from Orbit: 2023 Satellite Imagery: A Year in Review

    an image of the Earth with the text 2023 Satellite Imagery: A Year in Review

    NOAA satellites see our planet from a unique and captivating perspective. Every year, they capture the beauty and wrath of Mother Nature unfolding beneath them—devastating hurricanes, raging wildfires, erupting volcanoes—as well as the changing seasons, ocean color, nighttime lights, and more. The view of NOAA satellites isn’t just limited to Earth; they also capture images of our moon and the sun as we navigate our cosmic journey. As we head into the new year, take a look back at some satellite imagery highlights from 2023.