For the first time, GOES-U will be launched aboard a SPACE X Falcon Heavy. The total cost for NASA to launch GOES-U is approximately $152.5 million. Launch scheduled for April 2024 from KSC 39A. Each of the GOES Satellites are designed for 5 years of orbital storage and 10+ years of operational use.
GOES-U is currently slated to be an ‘On-Orbit’ Backup for GOES East or West, in much the same way that Himawari 9, which is patiently waiting in space,on-orbit since 11 November 2016, will replace Himawari 8. Himawari 9 will become primary and Himawari 8 will be placed into on-orbit storage.
The fourth satellite in NOAA’s GOES-R Series, GOES-U, recently had a new instrument installed. Called a Compact Coronagraph, this is a copy of the Naval Research Laboratory‘s Compact CORonagraph (CCOR) instrument which, along with the CCOR planned for Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1), which will allow continuous monitoring of solar wind after the retirement of the NASA-ESA SOHO satellite in 2025. This will be the first time it has been installed on any GOES spacecraft.