GOES A - C
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
Launch Date: October 16, 1975
Program(s):GOES / POES
The launch of the prototype Synchronous Meteorological Satellite, SMS-A, in May 1974 inaugurated the series of geosynchronous satellites that has provided systematic, continuous observations of weather patterns. A second prototype, SMS-B, followed in February 1975. The GOES program formally began with the launch of the first operational spacecraft, GOES-A, in 1975, which was renamed GOES-1 when it reached orbit. GOES-2 and GOES-3 followed in 1977 and 1978, respectively. These spacecraft obtained both day and night data on Earth’s weather from the Visible/Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR), a scanning instrument that formed images of Earth’s surface and cloud cover for transmission to regional data-user stations for use in weather prediction and forecasting and also for monitoring the space environment.
GOES-1 (A) Launch Date: October 16, 1975
The first operational satellite in NOAA's geosynchronous weather satellite system, the GOES-1 spacecraft was a cylinder 75 inches in diameter, 106 inches high and weighed 650 pounds. The sides of the cylinder were covered by 15,000 solar cells which, along with nickel cadmium batteries, provided the power for the craft. A single triangular magnetometer unit was located on the top of the craft which extended 33". The spacecraft was spin stabilized and rotated at 100 revolutions per minute. Its instrument compliment was identical to SMS-1 and SMS-2.
The principle instrument on board was the Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR) which provided day and night imagery of cloud conditions over the full-disk. The satellite had the capability to continuously monitor cataclysmic weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons, relay meteorological data from over 10,000 surface locations into a central processing center for incorporation into numerical weather prediction models, and to perform facsimile transmission of processed images and weather maps to WEFAX field stations. In addition, a Space Environment Monitor (SEM) and Data Collection System (DCS) similar to those on the NOAA polar orbiters were installed.
GOES-1 was placed in a geostationary orbit directly above the equator, over the Indian Ocean, to gather data for the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP). The satellite was moved to replace SMS-2 (Pacific) when GOES-3 was launched.
GOES-2 (B) Launch Date: June 16, 1977
The second operational satellite in NOAA's geosynchronous weather satellite system, the spacecraft was similar to GOES-1 and its instrument compliment was identical to those on its predecessors, SMS and GOES-1.
GOES-2 was placed in a geostationary orbit directly over the equator over 60W in order to replace SMS-1. The WEFAX system on this satellite is still operational, although cloud images are no longer being received from this system.
GOES-3 (C) Launch Date: June 16, 1978
The third operational satellite in NOAA's geosynchronous weather satellite system, the GOES-3 satellite was used to replace GOES-1 and to support the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) over the Indian Ocean. It had the same instruments and capabilities as the earlier GOES spacecraft.