NOAA’s newest satellite completes tests ahead of December 2021 launch

March 22, 2021
NOAA’s GOES-T, a geostationary weather satellite, must go through rigorous testing before launch. Here, it is lowered into a thermal vacuum chamber in August 2020 at a Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, Colorado. This test simulates the extreme temperatures of launch and the space environment.

NOAA’s GOES-T, the third in a series of advanced geostationary weather satellites, recently completed rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand the harsh conditions of launch and orbiting in space 22,236 miles above Earth.

GOES-T is on track for a December 2021 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellite will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches geostationary orbit. Once GOES-18 completes on-orbit checkout of its instruments and systems, NOAA will consider the health and reliability of the overall GOES observing system before deciding whether GOES-18 will reside in on-orbit storage or go immediately into operational service.

NOAA’s GOES-T satellite recently completed a series of rigorous tests to ensure it can withstand the harsh conditions of launch and orbiting 22,236 miles above Earth. This video highlights thermal vacuum, acoustics, and vibration testing. (Lockheed Martin/NOAA)

NOAA’s GOES-R satellites comprise the Western Hemisphere’s most advanced weather-observing and environmental-monitoring system. The GOES-R Program is a four-satellite mission that includes GOES-R (GOES-16, launched in 2016); GOES-S (GOES-17, launched in 2018); GOES-T; and GOES-U, planned for launch in 2024.

Learn more about what to expect from GOES-T.