An Atlas V 541 rocket (using the RL10C-1 Centaur engine and four GEM-63 solid rocket boosters) operated by the Boeing/Lockheed Martin concern, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully put the GOES-T meteorological monitoring satellite into orbit on behalf of NOAA (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The launch took place at 2138 GMT on 1 March from Cape Caneral Space Force Station in Florida, USA. Once it has made its final burn into its final geosynchronous Earth orbit and is declared operational the spacecraft will be renamed GOES-18. It will then formally take over the job of “GOES West” over the Pacific, replacing GOES 17 over 137.2 degrees West. The 5,192 kg GOES-18 spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and will use a specialist version of the A2100A bus design.
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