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Mon, Jun 29, 2009

1st Signal From GOES-O Satellite Received Following Successful Launch

"Performing As Planned"

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have received the first on-orbit signals from GOES-O, indicating that the Earth-observation satellite is healthy and operating normally. Controllers confirmed initial contact with the spacecraft at 12:25 a.m. Eastern time at a ground station on the Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean.

"We are very pleased to report that GOES-O is performing as planned, and we will continue to support this satellite through handover to NOAA so that it can fulfill its mission of providing critical, life-saving weather information,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The launch of GOES-O is a testament to the collaborative teaming and commitment of our employees to provide best-of-industry, next-generation environmental systems to NASA and NOAA."

GOES-O was launched on a Delta IV rocket Saturday at 6:51 p.m. Eastern time from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Boeing commercial launch business Boeing Launch Services procured the vehicle and mission services from United Launch Alliance.

Sunday's signal acquisition marks the second successful launch in the GOES N-P series and the latest step in enhancing NOAA’s Earth-observation and weather-monitoring capabilities. GOES-O, which is designed for a minimum orbit life of 10 years, will be placed in on-orbit storage and may replace an older GOES satellite in 2010. Together with GOES-13 (formerly GOES N), which launched on May 24, 2006, GOES-O will provide complete coverage of the Western Hemisphere.

The three-axis Boeing 601 spacecraft includes an imager that produces visible and infrared images of the Earth’s surface, oceans, cloud cover and storm developments; a multispectral sounder that provides vertical temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere; and a solar X-ray imager that monitors the sun’s X-rays for early detection of solar flares. GOES-O also carries space environment monitoring instruments that will measure X-rays and extreme ultraviolet and particle emissions, including solar protons, alpha particles and electrons. The GOES-O communications subsystem also includes a search-and-rescue capability to detect distress signals from ships and airplanes.

FMI: www.nasa.gov, www.noaa.gov, www.boeing.com

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