SpaceX is expected to be part of NASA’s global space mission again sometime in 2024. The space agency recently signed a huge contract which was awarded to SpaceX. Said contract is a collaboration between the two on the management and launch of the next operational environmental satellite geostationary-U or GOES-U. Said satellite will be lifted in the sky and in space aboard the famous SpaceX rocket called Falcon Heavy.
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U
(Photo: NASA / WikiCommons)
GOES-U is a huge terrestrial observatory that will fly over low orbit in just a few years. The new observatory has the capacity to observe and collect all the data concerning the meteorological concerns of the planet. The GOES-U observatory not only measures the composition of the atmosphere, but also provides weather information, storm tracking and lightning monitoring.
NASA’s geostationary satellite will also have specialized instruments to map the surface of the planet in detail. According to the press release from the space agency, the GOES-U project is estimated at $ 152.2 million. The approximate budget includes other costs related to the mission as well as the launch service that SpaceX will provide.
SpaceX will launch the GOES-U satellite in April 2024. The instrument will be carried by one of SpaceX’s best rockets, the Falcon Heavy. The satellite will be launched in Florida, where the John F. Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A is located.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is considered one of the highest performing and most powerful rockets ever developed in commercial rocket history. The rocket’s performance is fueled by its contained technology, including 27 Merlin engines that could handle 5 million pounds at launch, as well as three separate nine-core engines called the Falcon 9.
Falcon Heavy will transport GOES-U into space where it will fly over an orbit deemed ideal for meteorological and atmospheric observations. According to Tesmanian, the satellite’s position will be constant even as the planet rotates, and will have the best place to observe various activities in the Earth’s sky.
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NASA GOES satellite network in history
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA will be the core team for GOES-U satellite observations alongside NASA. The satellite is the fourth and final instrument to be launched under the GOES-R mission, which also included launches from previous satellites such as GOES-R, GOES-S and GOES-T.
The first take-off of the GOES-R project took place at Cape Canaveral in 1975. The first satellite was named GOES-A and was later replaced by GOES-I. More of the first GOES-R batch, including GOES-2 and GOES-3, were released in 1977 and 1978.
In 1994, GOES-8 was launched under the new generation of satellites called the GOES IM series. The structure of the IM satellites has been designed in a very modern way with improved functions compared to the initial versions of GOES. In addition, the new batch has the ability to capture more definitive images, which has given experts a new opportunity to study in more detail than ever before.
The main interest of the project is to examine all available information collected on the atmospheric characteristics of the Earth, as well as to forecast and prepare for any upcoming weather activity that could potentially have a negative impact on humans.
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