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Watch NASA’s U.S. weather satellite rocket launch highlights

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) new weather satellite successfully launched from NASA’s Cape Canaveral facility in Florida at 4:38 p.m. ET (1:38 p.m. PT) on Tuesday, March 1.

Watch NOAA's GOES-T Weather Satellite Launch to Geostationary Orbit

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-T (GOES-T) will provide accurate, timely forecasts and enable scientists to better monitor Earth’s changing climate.

An Atlas V rocket, operated by United Launch Alliance, carried the 6,000-pound satellite to orbit, with the lift-off and early stages of the mission livestreamed on NASA’s YouTube channel.

The player at the top of this page offers a recording of the mission. Cameras on the ground captured the Atlas V rocket leaving Earth, while another on the rocket itself shared views of Earth as the vehicle reached space.

Information along the bottom of the display indicates the mission’s key moments, including Max Q when the rocket’s atmospheric flight reaches maximum dynamic pressure, the SRB (solid rocket booster) jettison, and the payload fairing jettison.

The mission is currently in a planned coast phase that’s set to last around three hours. After that, the upper stage’s main engine will start and then cut off for a third and final time before deploying the satellite into orbit.

GOES-T is the third satellite in NOAA’s next-generation GOES-R series and will be renamed GOES-18 once it reaches orbit. GOES-16 and GOES-17 deployed in 2016 and 2018, respectively. GOES-18 will cover a vast area that includes the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, and the Pacific Ocean.

The network of satellites will enable meteorologists to monitor and forecast weather events that impact public safety, among them thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, hurricanes, and flash floods. It will also detect and monitor environmental hazards such as wildfires and volcanic eruptions.

“The launch of NOAA’s GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellites, in 2016 and 2018, forever changed the world of environmental monitoring and hazard detection in the Western Hemisphere,” NOAA said.

“As the first two of the GOES-R series of advanced geostationary satellites, they have already begun providing an unprecedented leap forward in U.S. weather observations. Their advanced instruments are streaming back more detailed views of weather events, faster than ever before.”

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