NASA picks SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch GOES-U weather satellite

SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy rocket simply obtained one other gig.

NASA has picked Falcon Heavy to launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U), with a deliberate liftoff in April 2024 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, agency officers introduced on Friday (Sept. 10). The whole launch value for NASA shall be about $152.5 million, they added.

“GOES-U will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment, as well as real-time mapping of total lightning activity and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.” NASA officers said in a statement Friday.

GOES-U would be the fourth and last spacecraft within the GOES-R series, a collaboration between NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These extremely succesful weather satellites, that are operated by NOAA, eye Earth from geostationary orbit, 22,236 miles (35,785 kilometers) above the planet’s floor.

Falcon Heavy has simply three liftoffs below its belt to date, but it surely’s poised to get fairly a exercise within the close to future. The highly effective rocket is scheduled to launch two categorised missions for the U.S. Space Force over the following few months, for instance. It may even loft, amongst different payloads, NASA’s Psyche asteroid probe in August 2022, the agency’s Europa Clipper mission in October 2024 and the primary massive piece of NASA’s Gateway moon-orbiting space station in November 2024.

And we are able to now add GOES-U to the docket as effectively.  

Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook concerning the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

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