US: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received its first infrared image of Earth from GOES-15, a geostationary satellite that operates 22,236 miles (35,785 kilometers) Earth. GOES-15, previously known as GOES-P, is a weather satellite constructed by Boeing to help NOAA forecasters track dangerous weather conditions and solar activity.
“Infrared imagery is critical for accurate weather forecasts, revealing a range of information – from the swirling motion of clouds and sea-surface temperatures, to moisture profiles of the atmosphere and the movement of smoke plumes from wildfires,” said officials from NOAA.
The 7,140 pound (3,238 kilogram) GOES-15 was launched on March 4, 2010, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After approximately five more months of tests, NASA will officially “hand over” the satellite to NOAA, which will place it in orbital storage mode. GOES-15 will be ready for activation if any of NOAA’s other four geostationary spacecraft experiences trouble.
Source: Global Adventures