NASA on Thursday launched the latest in its family of meteorological satellites, adding to a number of spacecraft that watch storm development and weather conditions on Earth.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P) lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 6:57 pm (2357 GMT) on board a Delta IV rocket . It will reach a final destination of orbit at around 22,000 miles (35,406 kilometers) above the Earth's surface.
The satellite is the latest in a series of meteorological satellites designed to watch for storm development and weather conditions on Earth.
From its location in Earth orbit, GOES-P's instrumentation will supply data used in weather monitoring, forecasting and warnings. It also will detect ocean and land temperatures, monitor space weather, relay communications and provide search-and-rescue support.
The satellite will also detect ocean and land temperatures, monitor space weather, relay communications and provide search-and-rescue support.
Of special note, its Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) is essentially a soft X-ray telescope that is used to monitor solar conditions and activity.
Every minute the SXI captures an image of the sun's atmosphere in X-rays, providing space weather forecasters with the necessary information in order to determine when to issue forecasts and alerts of conditions that may harm space and ground systems.
It represents the 15th of a number of satellites launched since 1975.
GOES-P, to be launched for NASA and NOAA, is a United Launch Alliance commercial launch for Boeing Launch Services under a Federal Aviation Administration license.