GOES-L, the latest in a
line of advanced U.S. weather satellites built for NOAA and NASA by
Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, was
successfully launched by NASA at 3:07 a.m. EDT this morning.

The satellite was sent into space from Pad A at Complex 36 at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on an Atlas IIA rocket.

In the next several days, GOES-L will be moved to final on-orbit
storage when it will be re-named GOES-11, waiting to operate when
needed as a replacement for GOES-8 or -10.

GOES-L will be ready to take up the GOES mission of monitoring
hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and other severe
weather. GOES-L is the fourth of five similar satellites built for
NOAA/NASA by SS/L. GOES-M has been built and is now entering space
simulation testing at SS/L’s facility in Palo Alto, Calif.

“GOES satellites are the backbone of short-term forecasting, or
nowcasting, for the United States,” said Gerry Dittberner, NOAA’s GOES
program manager.

“The real-time data they provide, coupled with information from
other sources, provide critically needed lead time for warnings of
severe weather and flooding. These warnings help to save lives,
preserve property, and benefit commercial interests.”

He added that, “GOES-11 will ensure continuity of GOES data from
two GOES, especially for the Atlantic hurricane season.”

“This launch of the GOES-L is the continuation of a 25-year joint
program between NASA and NOAA,” said Martin Davis, NASA’s GOES program
manager, at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“We’re committed to providing the best weather forecasting tools
possible to help the National Weather Service in its necessary — and
popular — mission.”

“It’s worth noting that GOES-8, the first in the current series,
has continued uninterrupted operation for more than a year beyond it’s
mission design life of five years,” said John M. Klineberg, president
of SS/L. “We are proud to have been able to supply reliable platforms
for NOAA and NASA over the last 25 years.”

SS/L also developed the spin-stabilized synchronous meteorological
satellites that were first launched in 1974, and were replaced by the
current series of GOES spacecraft. In all, SS/L satellites, which have
amassed nearly 800 years of reliable on-orbit service, are designed to
achieve long useful orbital life through use of bipropellant
propulsion and momentum-bias systems for excellent stationkeeping and
orbital stability. A system of solar arrays and batteries provides
uninterrupted electrical power.

The United States operates two meteorological satellites in
geostationary orbit 22,300 miles over the Equator, one over the East
Coast and one over the West Coast. GOES-10, launched in 1997, is
currently overlooking the West Coast out into the Pacific including
Hawaii; it is located at 135 degrees West longitude. GOES-8, launched
in April, 1994, overlooks the East Coast and out into the Atlantic
Ocean and is positioned at 75 degrees West. GOES-9 is in storage orbit
at 105 degrees West longitude.

NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information
Service operates the GOES series of satellites. After the satellites
complete on-orbit checkout, NOAA assumes responsibility for command
and control, data receipt, and product generation and distribution.
The GOES spacecraft are a critical component of the ongoing National
Weather Service modernization program, aiding forecasters in providing
more precise and timely forecasts.

Goddard manages the design, development and launch of the
spacecraft for NOAA, while NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is
responsible for government oversight of launch operations and
countdown activities. The on-board meteorological instruments for
GOES-11 include an Imager and a Sounder manufactured by ITT Industries
Aerospace/Communications Division, under contract to SS/L.

Space Systems/Loral is a premier designer, manufacturer, and
integrator of powerful geostationary (GEO) satellites and satellite
systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services, including
mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based
in Palo Alto, Calif., SS/L has an international list of commercial and
governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital
communications, wireless telephony, direct-to-home broadcast, video
broadcasting, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L
is ISO 9001 certified. For more information, visit www.ssloral.com.

Loral Space & Communications is a high technology
company that concentrates primarily on satellite manufacturing and
satellite-based services, including broadcast transponder leasing and
value-added services, domestic and international corporate data
networks, global wireless telephony, broadband data transmission and
content services, Internet services, and international direct-to-home
satellite services. For more information, visit www.loral.com.