NASA chooses SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch GOES-U weather satellite

The big one from SpaceX Heavy hawk rocket just had another gig.

NASA has selected Falcon Heavy to launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U), with a scheduled take-off in April 2024 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, agency officials said on Friday (September 10th). The total launch cost for NASA will be around $ 152.5 million, they added.

“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 monitoring of the solar activity and space weather. ” NASA officials said in a statement on Friday.

GOES-U will be the fourth and final spacecraft in the GOES-R Series, a collaboration between NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These high-performance weather satellites, which are operated by NOAA, observe the Earth from a geostationary orbit, 22,236 miles (35,785 kilometers) above the planet’s surface.

Falcon Heavy has only three takeoffs to date, but is set to train in the near future. The powerful rocket is expected to launch two classified missions for the US Space Force in the coming months, for example. It will also carry, among other payloads, NASA’s Psyche asteroid probe in August 2022, the Mower Europe mission in October 2024 and the first big chunk of NASA’s Lunar Gateway space station in November 2024.

And now we can add GOES-U to the folder as well.

Mike Wall is the author of “The low“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book on the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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