Rocket launch scheduled Thursday afternoon from Cape Canaveral

Riding 2.1 million pounds of thrust from its RD-180 main engine and four solid rocket boosters the Atlas 5 exceeds the speed of sound

‪At 5:02 p.m. EST‬, a two-hour launch window will open, during which GOES-S will lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

An Atlas V rocket launch is scheduled Thursday evening from Cape Canaveral that will send a new weather satellite into orbit.

It is noted that the satellite will work in tandem with GOES-R, which was successfully launched in November of 2016.

Thursday's launch will orbit the second of the new hurricane-watchers.

A next-generation weather satellite is on it's way to space while hitching sla ride on an Atlas V rocket.

GOES-S, which will be redubbed GOES-17 once it achieves its full orbital height of 22,000 miles (35,406 kilometers) above the Earth's surface in the next few weeks, will monitor weather conditions in the Western United States, Pacific Ocean, Mexico and Central America by the end of the year.

NOAA's next weather satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series, GOES-S, which will be renamed GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit, will be positioned to boost forecast accuracy for the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii.

GOES-17 will also have a suite of powerful instruments on board for monitoring weather systems, like the Advanced Baseline Imager, a camera capable of rapidly producing high-resolution images in the visible, infrared, and near-infrared spectra.

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Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft and is responsible for spacecraft development, integration and testing.

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.

National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said he's been "blown away" by the impacts GOES-16 has had on weather forecasting.

Built by Harris Corp.

But the satellites don't just look at storms, Walsh said, noting that previous images by GOES-16 picked up on fire activity in California before authorities had even been alerted. "We at United Launch Alliance are proud that either our current or one of our heritage vehicles has launched every GOES satellite that has ever launched".

GOES-S also features two other Lockheed Martin-built instruments that track lightning - including cloud-to-cloud activity - and, on the reverse, observe solar activity.

Mission operations will be performed by NOAA at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

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