Jan 22, 2024 - News

Colorado-built weather satellite makes its way to Kennedy Space Center

A truck loads a package containing NOAA's GOES-U weather satellite onto a C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

A satellite that will soon help deliver weather forecasts to your phone started its voyage from Aurora to Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Monday.

Driving the news: The GOES-U, which will provide weather monitoring, including pinpointing and tracking where wildfires start, was built on Lockheed Martin's Littleton campus in conjunction with NOAA.

NOAA's GOES-U satellite. Photo: Courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Details: The satellite is designed to track hazardous weather, like hurricanes, which can help scientists develop prediction models, Dan Lindsey, NOAA's Chief Scientist for the project, tells us.

  • "It's those models that tell us where the storm is going to be five days from now ... and that way we can evacuate the coast or do what needs to be done in order to prepare," Lindsey says.

Of note: The spacecraft, which is roughly the size of a small bus, was flown to Florida inside the C-5M Super Galaxy — the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force's fleet.

What's next: GOES-U is scheduled to be launched in April, and will orbit the earth for about 10 years.

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