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Latest Loral Eye-In-The-Sky Weather Satellite, GOES-L, Launched Today by NASA For NOAA.

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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

Loral Space & Communications (NYSE:LOR) 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
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 3, 2000
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