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A ULA Atlas 5 rocket launches the GOES S satellite on March 1, 2018. Liftoff was at 5:02 p.m. EST.

A next-generation weather satellite is on it's way to space while hitching sla ride on an Atlas V rocket. "Along with its easterly partner GOES-16, GOES-S will help communities and businesses prepare for potentially unsafe weather events and minimize the hazard to American families and economies".

The primary customer for the data from the GOES satellites is the US Weather Service, but the information they beam to Earth is also shared openly with meteorologists around the world, NOAA said.

A United Launch Alliance rocket carried a Colorado-built satellite into orbit Thursday that's created to provide US weather forecasters unprecedented detail about severe weather formation and make improve air travel safety by tracking in-cloud lightning. It will become GOES-17 once it reaches its intended 22,000-mile-high orbit over the equator in a few weeks, and should be officially operational by year's end.

The advanced technology will help Severe Weather Team 2 track lightning and fog down to the minute. GOES-17 also will be an important tool for forecasters to track and predict the formation and dissipation of fog, which can disrupt airport operations.

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"I'm even more excited about the work that's coming up for me and my colleagues, putting these new data to work for better forecasts and warnings for the American public", said Yoe, an official at the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation.

GOES S will give us a true, high definition look west the western half of the United States, including Alaska.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series program through an integrated NOAA/NASA office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA also oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles. GOES S will have a much higher resolution than the previous weather monitoring satellite, GOES 15.

Tim Marsh, acting GOES-R system program director at NOAA stated that the total cost of the four satellites, from inception to the conclusion of their mission in the 2030s, will be approximately $10 billion.

But its primary instrument, the Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, and the GOES ground systems have their roots in a company that calls the Space Coast home: Melbourne-based Harris.