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GOES-14 Sends First Image

NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite—GOES 14—took its first full disk visible image of Earth at 2 p.m. EDT on Monday.

GOES-O was successfully launched on June 27 and became GOES-14 when it reached geostationary orbit on July 8. NASA took engineering control of GOES-14 on July 18. GOES-14 is currently located approximately 22,300 miles above Earth's surface at an orbital location of 89.5 degrees west longitude.

“Capturing this first sharp image is a major milestone for our GOES team,” said Andre' Dress, the GOES-N Series deputy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “It represents a culmination of this team's hard work and dedication. We still have more to do but full mission success is clearly in our sights.”

NASA expects the checkout to continue until mid-December. The next milestone will be the deployment of the Imager and Sounder cooler doors that allow the infrared detectors to capture infrared images of Earth, and soundings of atmospheric temperatures and water vapor levels. The Imager and Sounder are used for measuring sea surface temperatures, fog and fire detection, volcanic eruption monitoring and severe storm evaluations.

Once the checkout is complete, GOES-14 will be handed over to NOAA for operational use. NOAA plans to store it as an in-orbit spare at 105 degrees west longitude (WL). According to the NOAA GOES Status web page, GOES-13 is currently in standby mode at 105 degrees WL, GOES-12 is covering the Atlantic and eastern part of the U.S. from 75 degrees WL, GOES-11 is covering the Pacific and the western part of the U.S. from 135 degrees WL, and GOES-10 is covering South America from 60 degrees WL. GOES-10 will cease operations in Dec. 2009 due to end-of-life fuel conditions.

I’ve found the NexSat Web page from the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey—which also has images from polar orbiting Earth satellites (POES) and the Earth Science Office at Marshall Space Flight Center Interactive Global Geostationary Weather Satellite Images site—to be good, reliable sources of high resolution weather satellite images.