SpaceX launches GOES-U mission from Florida atop Falcon Heavy rocket

NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) GOES-U mission into geostationary orbit aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket from Florida on Tuesday.

The space agency opened the two-hour launch window at 5:26 p.m. from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where afternoon storms had threatened the mission.


After booster separation, the two new side boosters touched down at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

What is the GOES-U mission?

According to SpaceX, GOES, also known as Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, is a series NOAA uses to help forecasters and climate researchers detect potential severe weather and tropical cyclone forecasts in real-time and save lives.

The GOES-U satellite will be positioned above the Earth's equator at around 35,700 km (22,236 mi) to monitor weather patterns across the United States, Central and South America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

It features an array of space weather instruments to detect solar storms and predict their likely impacts promptly.