New NASA Satellite Measures Environmentally-Related Storm Activity
Playing a critical role in monitoring weather and climate changes from its orbit high above the earth, the $500 million dollar Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P) lifted off on March 4 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a high-tech enterprise from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
GOES-P, which will change its moniker to GOES-15 when fully operational, joins a long lineage of weather satellites first launched in 1975, but with significantly advanced technology from its predecessors, including the most sophisticated meteorological imaging available for weather forecasting. The satellite will monitor storm development, weather patterns, ocean and land temperatures, and may even provide search and rescue mission assistance.
Once the satellite is established in orbit, NOAA will use the data received to create and refine extensive global weather maps. NOAA’s mission is to gain knowledge of changes in the earth’s environment, using data to predict life-threatening weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes, detect solar disturbances, and relay distress signals from emergency beacons.