CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — A next-gen weather satellite has left its home planet behind.

After concerns the weather would not cooperate, a perfect window of opportunity opened today (June 25)  for the launch of GOES-U, the fourth and final member of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES-R series of Earth-observing craft.

GOES-U caught a ride on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) here on the Space Coast, rising off the pad today at 5:26 p.m. EDT (2126 GMT). The assembled crowd erupted into thunderous applause as the brawny rocket roared into space on its 10th-ever liftoff.

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches NOAA’s GOES-U weather satellite on June 25, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX)

“I could feel the adrenaline go through when it started launching. It was incredible,” Dakota Smith, satellite analyst and communicator at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), said after watching his first-ever launch. “GOES has been a huge part of my career and my passion and my hobby and to see a satellite go up and know that we’re going to continue to get amazing imagery and I’m going to continue to work on this mission, it means a lot to me. I’m blown away.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *