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Next-Generation Weather Satellite Launch Success

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A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying GOES-R spacecraft for NASA and NOAA lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 6:42 p.m. EST. Photo: ULA

A next-generation weather satellite is in orbit, thanks to NASA and United Launch Alliance. It’s taking forecasters from black and white TV to high-definition.

An Atlas V rocket launched by United Launch Alliance sent the GOES-R satellite to orbit Saturday, providing crucial weather forecasting images of earth’s western hemisphere.

The high-tech satellite will send storm and lightning images, as frequently as every 30 seconds, to weather forecasters to better predict storms and measure the intensity of hurricanes.

GOES-R is heading to a geostationary orbit, meaning it will orbit at the same speed as the earth, allowing it to focus on one spot, all the time.

Saturday’s launch was delayed due to a vehicle anomaly and range issues, but that was resolved and the rocket launched just moments before the hour-long launch window closed.

Meteorologists from across the country traveled to Kennedy Space Center to see the launch. NBC’s Al Roker said he wants to “make American weather great again.”

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »