New weather satellite built in Colorado will launch on Thursday

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In addition to focusing on the western US, the satellite also will cover the eastern Pacific, eastern Australia and New Zealand, and much of South America once it finishes its testing phase and gets to its permanent location later this year, reported.

The combined target areas mean the two next-generation spacecraft have a almost complete view of the Western Hemisphere with modern tools that capture high-definition images several times faster than legacy weather satellites.

The GOES weather satellite (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) will be positioned to provide data to the West Coast of the USA after it's carried into orbit by one of the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets.

Artist image of NOAA's GOES-S satellite.

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NASA assisted with the launch, but the satellite will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of a constellation that also includes GOES-R, now known as GOES-16.

The launch of the new satellite will be streamed on the FOX31 and Channel 2 Facebook pages.

NASA said the satellites in GOES (Geostationary Operation Environmental Satellites) are used to improve detection and obstruction of environmental events. These satellites will continue to deliver dazzling weather data that has captivated forecasters such as first-of-its-kind lightning mapping and high-definition views of weather systems.

GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites.

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This new satellite system will allow our StormTRACK Weather team to better observe storms over blocked areas and, in some cases, even see storms developing before they are detected by radar. NOAA, NASA, universities and private sector researchers will use the data and results to craft the next GOES series. During Hurricane Harvey, for instance, data from the satellite allowed first responders to know when it was safe to go out as the storm's eye passed overhead, rescuing more than 200 people - and when to take shelter just before the back of the eyewall swept back over. "They will have detailed, tactical information about a fire and where it's likely to go based on winds and intensity".

"The impact of the visualization, the actual videos, the movies coming out is really visceral", Steve Volz, NOAA's director for satellite and information services, said in the earlier conference.

After it launches, GOES-S will undergo six months of tests, then be operational late 2018. After GOES-S reaches its orbit in two weeks, its name will change to GOES-17 as it will be the 17th in its series since October 1975. "And NOAA's satellite data provides the backbone for the global observing system, and is the critical element for weather forecasting in the extended ranges". Development began in 2005, and the program will extend through 2036. GOES-T is expected to launch in the 2020 timeframe and GOES-U will follow suit around 2024.

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