Mission Update: GOES-T Becomes GOES-18

Mission Update: GOES-T Becomes GOES-18

GOES-T successfully launched atop a ULA Atlas V rocket on March 1, 2022. That evening the satellite was deployed into its transfer orbit, and mission managers confirmed that GOES-T was operating under its own power after deploying its solar array.

The launch of GOES-T on an Atlas V rocket. Credit: Michael Galindo

On March 14th, GOES-T performed its final engine burn to place it in its final geostationary orbit, 22,236 miles in altitude. Once it reached this point, GOES-T was renamed GOES-18. The satellite is currently positioned between GOES-East & West. While in this position system checks are performed to make sure the satellite is healthy and that instruments are working. If all goes well GOES-18 will take its first images this May.

Current location of GOES-18 at 89.5 degrees west, and its future location for further testing at 136.7 degrees west. Credit: NOAA

The satellite will then drift to a position near the current GOES-West (GOES-17) for more testing and checkouts. During this time, data and images will begin to flow from the satellite. At certain times images from both GOES-West and GOES-18 will be available. Currently, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plans to have GOES-18 take over as GOES-West in early 2023. Once that is done, GOES-17 will go into a storage orbit for use as a backup satellite.

Once in position as GOES-West, the satellite will monitor hazards that could threaten Hawaii, the US West Coast, and Alaska. The satellite will also monitor Space Weather and solar activity to provide early warning of incoming solar storms.

Artist concept of GOES-18 in orbit. Credit: NASA

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