GOES-U the 4th and Last of the GOES-R Series

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.

Space X Falcon Heavy

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.

May 2021 – The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is installed onto NOAA’s GOES-U weather satellite at Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado. Credit: Lockheed Martin.
March 2022, The Lockheed Martin team works on installing GOES-U’s Solar Ultraviolet Imager’s (SUVI) telescope and electronics box. SUVI will observe the sun’s solar flares and solar eruptions, which can provide early warning of possible impacts to Earth’s space environment and enable better forecasting of potentially disruptive events on the ground. Credit: Lockheed Martin
The GOES-U satellite system module and core module were mated on July 31, 2019, and form the GOES-U spacecraft. This is an important milestone in the development of the satellite, as it merges together the elements that form both the “brain” and the “body” of the satellite. More than 70 electronics boxes mounted within the system module provide the functionality to operate the spacecraft and its six instruments. The core module forms the main central structure of the satellite and carries the propellant needed to maneuver the spacecraft after it is separated from the launch vehicle and operational in geostationary orbit. Credit: Lockheed Martin