The GOES-S meteorological satellite was successfully launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on its way to the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) at 2202 GMT on 1 March from the Cape Canaveral launch site on the coast of Florida, USA.  The spacecraft’s own engine will be used to circularise the orbit.  The launch vehicle was being operated by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) was an Atlas V 541 vehicle. Once successfully launched the satellite is expected to replace the GOES 15 satellite in the GOES West position over 137 degrees West longitude in six months’ time after being tested at 90 degrees West. The spacecraft will be renamed GOES 17.

GOES East and West positions. Courtesy: NOAA