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Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite A-C (GOES A-C)

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Status: Completed
Mission Category: Inter-Agency Partnerships
Launch Date: October 16, 1975
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral, FL

The launch of the prototype Synchronous Meteorological Satellite, SMS-A, in May 1974 inaugurated the series of geosynchronous satellites that has provided systematic, continuous observations of weather patterns. A second prototype, SMS-B, followed in February 1975. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) program formally began with the launch of the first operational spacecraft, GOES-A, in 1975, which was renamed GOES-1 when it reached orbit. GOES-2 and GOES-3 followed in 1977 and 1978, respectively. These spacecraft obtained both day and night data on Earth’s weather from the Visible Infrared Spin-Span Radiometer (VISSR), a scanning instrument that formed images of Earth’ surface and cloud cover for transmission to regional data-user stations. These data were used in weather prediction and forecasting as well as for monitoring the space environment.

Key Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite A-C Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Instruments: DCS (Data Collection System)
SEM (Space Environment Monitor)
VISSR (Visible Infrared Spin-Scan Radiometer)
Project Scientist(s): William E. Shenk

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Weather

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How is the global Earth system changing?

Related Applications:

  • Weather Prediction