Once again, NASA has prioritized SpaceX by awarding it the federal contract to launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U) mission.
According to the space agency, the total cost of the GOES-U mission is approximately $ 152.5 million, which includes the launch as well as other mission-related services. The geostationary weather satellite is scheduled to be launched in April 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“GOES-U will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment, as well as real-time mapping of total lightning activity and enhanced activity monitoring solar and space weather,The GOES-U satellite is the fourth and final spacecraft in the GOES-R series of geostationary weather satellites, which is a collaboration between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA) The other three include GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T. These satellites are approximately 22,236 miles (35,785 kilometers) above the surface of the planet.
Space X’s Falcon Heavy is a large cargo lifting rocket that was first launched in February 2018, making it the most powerful booster in service at that time. The rocket flew the Tesla Roadster of founder and CEO Elon Musk with a dummy named “Starman” into space on its iconic first test flight.
The Falcon Heavy has just been used for three takeoffs previously, but it looks like there are more incoming launches with the US Space Force using it to launch two classified missions in the near future. Other payloads include NASA’s Psyche asteroid probe in August 2022, the Europa Clipper mission in October 2024, and NASA’s lunar orbiting Gateway space station in November 2024. And now the GOES-U has been added. to the list of planned launches. Looks like he has a busy launch schedule ahead.