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GOES
(Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite)

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GOES satellites are designed to constantly monitor the same region of the Earth. They are placed in a geostationary orbit 35,800 kilometers (about 22,200 miles) above the Equator. At this altitude, a satellite orbits at the same speed as the Earth rotates, so it remains fixed over one spot on the ground. From this vantage point GOES can provide intensive coverage of a region's daily weather developments, as well as, warnings of severe storms to come.

Since the first launch in 1975, GOES spacecraft have gone through several generations of technical development. Unlike previous spin-stabilized satellites, the current GOES series has a three-axis body-stabilized design that allows its sensors to continuously point towards the Earth. A rotating solar array supplies power, and a long solar sail boom balances the craft.
The National Air and Space Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous donation of the GOES 1/2 scale model by Space Systems/LORAL, Palo Alto, California




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Technicians ready the GOES-K for launch. After it became operational, the satellite was called GOES-10.
Courtesy of Space Systems/LORAL

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This diagram shows the actual dimensions of GOES I-M series spacecraft. The solar sail boom on the museum's model is not to scale, due to its great length. At the model's scale, the boom would be 3.7 meters (12 feet) longer than the one displayed in the gallery.
Courtesy of Space Systems/LORAL

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The Launch of the GOES-K satellite aboard an Atlas 1 rocket on April 25, 1997.
NASA Photograph


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An image of the Earth from the GOES-8 satellite. The GOES imaging sensor records data in five different wavelength bands (both visible and infrared) and can monitor cloud cover, atmospheric, water, and sea surface temperature.
Courtesy of Space Systems/LORAL and NOAA


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Hurricane Fran threatens the Florida coast in this GOES-8 image from September 1996.
Courtesy of Space Systems/LORAL and Fritz Hasler/NASA Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres



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