The latest United States (US) weather satellite was launched, Tuesday (3/1), to improve fire and flood forecasts in the western United States.
The new satellite is a replacement for the satellite that was launched exactly four years ago, which ended with a cooling duct blockage blocking the main camera.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the new model was redesigned to avoid problems. The satellite will be named GOES-18 after reaching 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above its equatorial orbit. The first few images will come next year, after months of testing.
It is the third of a series of four weather satellites worth nearly $11.7 billion, including the most advanced ever built, the cost of which covers 30 years of operation. The first satellite was launched in 2016 to track Atlantic storms and weather in the eastern coastal region, while the second took off on March 1, 2018. While the fourth satellite will be launched in 2024. [mg/em]