Tuesday, September 28, 2021

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launches NASA’s GOES-U satellite by April 2024

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Geostationary satellites are the objects that circle the Earth in geosynchronous orbit, meaning they are in tune with the Earth’s equatorial plane at a speed matching the Earth’s rotation. This technique allows them to stay in a fixed position in the sky, remaining stationary with respect to a point on the ground. NOAA’s latest generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), known as the GOES-R Series, is the nation’s most advanced fleet of geostationary weather satellites, states NASA.  Why the GOES-U?

According to NASA’s official statement cited by Space.com, the soon-to-be-launched satellite will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather, real-time mapping of total lightning activity along measurements of oceans and environment. Operated by the NOAA, these satellites operate from a geostationary orbit of 35,785 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. Notably, GOES-U is the fourth and final instalment under NASA-NOAA’s GOES-R series. The GOES-R Series is a four-satellite program including GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U, says NASA. Budgeted at a cost of $152.5 million, the next launch is the newest addition in SpaceX’s already stacked up schedule. 

(IMAGE: AP) As per reports, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy has two classified missions awaiting the US Space Force in coming months. Besides, including NASA’s Psyche asteroid probe in August 2022, the Europa Clipper mission in October 2024 and the Gateway moon-orbiting space station in November 2024 will keep the rocket busy. Currently, Elon Musk and his team are focused on their first-ever all-civilian Inspiration4 mission that will carry four astronauts who aim to raise over $200 million during the three-day orbital mission. The civilians will take off on September 15 from the Kennedy Space Centre based in Florida. 

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  • Headline: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launches NASA’s GOES-U satellite by April 2024
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