The nation’s newest environmental satellite has sent back its first image from space, NASA and the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today.

GOES-12, a geostationary weather satellite that takes images of clouds, measures temperature, reads the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, and monitors space weather, sent back a clear, crisp image from its vantage point 22,300 miles in space. The satellite was launched on July 23 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. GOES-12 will be stored in orbit and will replace either GOES-8 or GOES-10 as needed.

“The image quality is excellent,” said Martin A. Davis, the NASA GOES Program Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “This shows that the Imager visible channel is working as expected.”

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages satellite design, development and launch, and on-orbit checkout of the GOES satellites for NOAA.

NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) operates the GOES series of satellites from its Suitland, Md., facility. After the satellites complete on-orbit checkout, NESDIS assumes responsibility for command and control, data receipt, and product generation and distribution. NESDIS is the nation’s primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. The NESDIS environmental satellites are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring, and sea surface temperature measurements.

The first GOES-M image is available at (click on “Current Events”):