The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)
developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), called GOES-N, arrived today by a C17 military
cargo aircraft at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility
from the manufacturing plant in El Segundo, Calif.

The GOES-N satellite is targeted to launch May 4 onboard a Boeing
expendable launch vehicle Delta IV (4,2) with a 3-burn second stage
operation. Once in orbit GOES-N will be designated GOES-13 and will
complete checkout and be placed in on-orbit storage as a replacement
for an older GOES satellite.

After arriving, the satellite was transported to Astrotech in
Titusville, Fla., where final testing of the imaging system,
instrumentation, communications and power systems will be performed.
These tests will take approximately two months to complete. Then the
spacecraft will be fueled with propellant for the attitude control
system, encapsulated in the nose fairing and prepared for transport
to the launch pad.

GOES-N is the first spacecraft to be launched in the new GOES-N/O/P
series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. The GOES
satellites continuously provide observations of 60 percent of the
Earth including the continental United States, providing weather
monitoring and forecast operations as well as a continuous and
reliable stream of environmental information and severe weather

On board GOES-N will be an advanced attitude control system using star
trackers and an optical bench onto which the Imager and Sounder are
mounted providing enhanced instrument-pointing ability. These
enhancements improve image navigation and registration to better
locate severe storms and other events important to NOAA. NASA Goddard
Space Flight Center and the NOAA National Environmental Satellite,
Data and Information Service (NESDIS) have set a higher standard of
accuracy for the GOES-N series, including data pixel location to
approximately two kilometers from geosynchronous orbit of 35,000 km
(22,300 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

The multi-mission GOES-N Series will be a vital contributor to
weather, solar, and space operations and future science improvements
with weather prediction and remote sensing. The GOES-N Series will
aid severe storm warnings, resource management, search and rescue,
emergency managers, and likely lead to additional advances in
environmental sciences and multifaceted data applications of remotely
sensed phenomena. GOES-N data will add to the global climate change
databases of knowledge, embracing many civil and government
environmental forecasting organizations that work to benefit people
everywhere and help save lives.

GOES-N will carry the government-furnished ITT built Imager and
Sounder instruments to provide regular measurements of the Earth’s
atmosphere, cloud cover, ocean temperatures, and land surfaces.
GOES-N will carry a new operational government-furnished Solar X-ray
Imager built by Lockheed. Space Environment Monitor instruments were
part of the Boeing spacecraft contract and were built by Science
Applications International Corporation and Assurance Technology

The Boeing Delta IV (4,2) Expendable Launch Vehicle was erected on
February 16, 2005, at the Space Launch Complex (SLC 37B) at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station. The two solid rocket boosters were
attached the following week. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the procurement of the GOES
satellites for NOAA including final testing in Florida and the
initial on-orbit checkout. NOAA is responsible for satellite
operation, data distribution and management of the program.

Boeing Expendable Launch Systems will conduct the commercial launch
with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license. Boeing
is responsible for the Delta IV launch vehicle processing at SLC-37B,
the integration of the GOES-N spacecraft with the Boeing Delta IV and
the launch countdown activities.

For more information about GOES-N and the geostationary satellites on
the Web, visit: