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NASA Taps SpaceX for GOES-U Satellite Launch

Launch services contract

NASA Taps SpaceX for GOES-U Satellite Launch

SpaceX has secured a launch services contract for NASA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U mission.

The GOES-U satellite is designed to provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment. It also comes equipped with real-time mapping tools for lightning activity and advanced monitoring capabilities for solar activity and space weather.

The satellite launch, scheduled for April 2024 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is estimated to cost approximately $152.5 million, SpaceX said.

GOES-U will be the fourth and final addition to the GOES-R series of geostationary weather satellites, which NASA jointly operates with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Collectively, the satellites in the GOES-R constellation improve the detection and observation of environmental phenomena that affect public safety, protection of property and national prosperity. They allow for improved hurricane track and intensity forecasts, increased thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time and earlier warning of ground lightning strike hazards.

The third and penultimate satellite in the constellation, GOES-T, is scheduled for launch in December at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NOAA is looking to accelerate the operational timeline of the GOES-T satellite to cover for one of the agency’s malfunctioning advanced geostationary weather satellites.

GOES-T, which will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches geostationary orbit, will replace GOES-17, which is suffering from overheating problems with a component known as the Advanced Baseline Imager.

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Category: Space

Tags: GOES-R GOES-T GOES-U Launch Services NASA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA space SpaceX weather satellites