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NASA and NOAA’S GOES-O Satellite Successfully Launched

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The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-O, soared into space today after a successful launch from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The GOES-O spacecraft lifted off at 6:51 p.m. EDT on a Delta IV rocket. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-O satellite will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world. The satellite is the second to be launched in the GOES N series of geostationary environmental weather satellites.

“All indications are that GOES-O is in a normal orbit, with all spacecraft systems functioning properly,” stated Andre Dress, GOES deputy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “We are proud of our support teams and pleased with the performance of the Delta IV launch vehicle.”

Approximately 4 hours and 21 minutes after launch, the spacecraft separated from the launch vehicle. The Universal Space Network Western Australia tracking site in Dongara monitored the spacecraft separation.

On July 7, GOES-O will be placed in its final orbit and renamed GOES-14. Approximately 24 days after launch, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems will turn engineering control over to NASA. About five months later, NASA will transfer operational control of GOES-14 to NOAA. The satellite will be checked out, stored in orbit and available for activation should one of the operational GOES satellites degrade or exhaust its fuel.

NASA contracted with Boeing to build and launch the GOES-O spacecraft. NASA’s Launch Services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida supported the launch in an advisory role. NOAA manages the GOES program, establishes requirements, provides all funding and distributes environmental satellite data for the United States. Goddard procures and manages the design, development and launch of the satellites for NOAA on a cost-reimbursable basis.


Mission Management Team OKs Endeavour for Launch

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Space shuttle Endeavour is ready to carry seven astronauts and a key piece of the Japanese laboratory complex to the International Space Station, said Mike Moses, chairman of the mission management team.

“We’re in really good shape to fly,” Moses said. The team carefully reviewed the spacecraft to make sure nothing was overlooked since the launch comes only a few weeks after the end of the STS-125 mission.

The countdown for Saturday morning’s launch at 7:17 continues on pace, said Launch Director Pete Nickolenko.

“We’re not tracking any issues,” Nickolenko said.

Endeavour’s crew is to install a platform to one end of the Japanese Kibo laboratory on the station. The platform will hold experiments designed to work outside the protective confines of the station.


HD STS-125 Launch: The Final Mission to Hubble

After a smooth countdown and picture-perfect liftoff, space shuttle Atlantis and a crew of seven astronauts are in space, ready to begin their 11-day mission to service NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Atlantis lifted off Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:01 p.m. EDT.


Atlantis Lifts Off!

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Under a dry, hot, cloud-washed Florida sky, space shuttle Atlantis roars off Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with its crew of seven for a rendezvous with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The launch was on time at 2:01 p.m. EDT. Atlantis’ 11-day flight will include five spacewalks to refurbish and upgrade the telescope with state-of-the-art science instruments that will expand Hubble’s capabilities and extend its operational lifespan through at least 2014. The payload includes the Wide Field Camera 3, fine guidance sensor and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.


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