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Best weather satellite ever built rockets into space

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At 6:42 p.m. Eastern, the United Launch Alliance rocket and GOES-R spacecraft roared into the sky with a smooth climb.

Launched atop an Atlas V rocket, GOES-R is a collaborative mission between NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). ULA has successfully delivered more than 110 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, and enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

The US space agency NASA said it had to delay indefinitely the expected launch of an Atlas V rocket with the nation's most advanced weather satellite into the orbit due to a fault with the launch vehicle.

Indeed, about 50 TV meteorologists from around the country converged on the launch site - including NBC's Al Roker - along with 8,000 space program workers and guests.

It's a quantum leap forward - like going from black and white to HDTV overnight. "NOAA is now operating the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to help forecast weather on Earth". "That also will mean more lives saved and better environmental intelligence" for government officials responsible for hurricane and other evacuations.

GOES-R eventually will become known as GOES-16. After months of testing, this newest satellite will take over for one of the older ones. It will provide high-resolution, rapid-refresh satellite imagery as often as every 30 seconds, allowing for a more detailed look at a storm to determine whether it is growing or decaying. The GOES-R Series operational lifetime will extend to December 2036. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite will be able to monitor the earth in near real time using an instrument called Advanced Baseline Imager. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch on September 8 from and will be the first US mission to sample an asteroid, retrieve at least two ounces of surface material and return it to Earth for study. GOES-R's primary instrument will bring in three-times more information at four-times better resolution at five-times faster speeds than current satellites.

Three-and-a-half hours later, the GOES-R spacecraft segregated from the Centaur and the satellite started flying on its own to the planned orbit.

Scans of the Western Hemisphere, from the North Pole to the South Pole, will be collected five times faster - in just five minutes.

GLM will generate 500 images per second of developing storms to pinpoint sudden increases in lightning flashes.

Forecasters will get pictures "like they've never seen before", Mr Mandt promised.

Beyond weather forecasting, GOES-R also will be part of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System, an global satellite-based search and rescue network operated by NOAA. Matthew stayed far enough offshore to cause minimal damage to Cape Canaveral, despite some early forecasts that suggested a direct strike.

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