GREENBELT, Md., Sept. 1 (UPI) — NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say their newest weather and solar satellite has completed testing and is entering service.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-15, has successfully completed five months of in-orbit testing of its science systems, instrumentation and communications services, a NASA release said Wednesday.
GOES-15 is the third and final spacecraft in the GOES N-P fleet of geostationary environmental weather satellites that will help NOAA forecasters track life-threatening weather and solar activity that can impact the satellite-based electronics and communications industry, the release said.
“NASA is ecstatic that we were able to deliver on our promise to provide NOAA and this nation with three geosynchronous weather satellites,” Andre Dress of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., said.
The GOES 15 satellite will be placed in a “storage” orbit location to act as a backup for the operational GOES-11 and GOES-13 satellites should either degrade or run out of fuel. GOES-15 can be made operational within 24 hours to replace an older satellite, NASA said.
“With more than 35 million Americans living in hurricane-prone areas, we need the reliable, accurate data GOES provide,” Gary Davis, director of the Office of Systems Development at NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service, said.
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