GOES-R The Future of NOAA’s Geostationary Weather Satellites

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Operating from two primary locations, GOES-East and Goes-West, NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) have been providing continuous imagery of and data on atmospheric conditions, solar activity and Earth’s weather systems for nearly 40 years.

Now, with the next generation of weather-observing satellites on the horizon, NOAA is poised to once again significantly improve weather forecasting and severe weather prediction. The GOES-R series represents the first major technological advancement in geostationary environmental observations since the launch of the GOES-I series in 1994.
The GOES program formally began on October 16, 1975, with the launch of GOES-1. Although the satellite was spin-stabilized, only viewing Earth about 10 percent of the time and providing data in only two dimensions, it gave forecasters their first near-real time look at atmospheric conditions from a fixed location.

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Discovering Liquid Water on Mars

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NASA announced on September 28 that recurring dark streaks observed at several locations on Mars are caused by liquid water. Scientists observed “hydrated salts” in data from an orbiting satellite; the salts are definitive proof of the presence of water.

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MESSENGER and the Science of Mercury

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The MESSENGER spacecraft’s name comes from “MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging,” highlighting the project’s broad range of scientific goals. MESSENGER was the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft’s seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation helped to unravel the history and evolution of the solar system’s innermost planet. MESSENGER orbited Mercury from March 18, 2011 to April 30, 2015. Let’s take a closer look at some of the fascinating things MESSENGER has taught us about the closest planet to the sun.

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