NASA, NOAA launch game-changing weather satellite

The nation's most advanced weather satellite is on its way into space.

NASA launched the $1 billion GOES-R satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the end of the launch window at 6:42 p.m. on Saturday.

An unmanned Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The satellite will aim for a 22,300-mile-high orbit, where it will churn out the sharpest and fastest pictures yet of hurricanes, tornadoes and other U.S. weather.  

NOAA  expects it to revolutionize forecasting. It's part of a new $11 billion system that ultimately will include four satellites.

Two-dozen meteorologists from around the country were on hand for the big event. The weather, appropriately enough, was great for a nighttime launch.

GOES-R eventually will become known as GOES-16. It will join three other weather satellites already in orbit.