|Mission type||Earth weather forecasting|
|Operator||NOAA / NASA|
|Mission duration||15 years (planned)|
|Spacecraft type||GOES-R Series|
|Bus||Lockheed Martin A2100|
|Launch mass||2,800 kg (6,200 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||7 December 2021 (planned) |
|Rocket||Atlas V (541)|
|Launch site||CCSFS, SLC-41|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance (ULA)|
|Entered service||2022 (planned)|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
GOES-T is the third of the "GOES-R Series", the actual generation of weather satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), giving sequence to the GOES system. The current and next satellites of the Series (GOES-16, GOES-17, GOES-T, and GOES-U) will extend the availability of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) satellite system until 2037. The satellite will be built by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado. It will be based on the A2100A platform and will have an expected useful life of 15 years (10 operational after five years in orbit replacement).
The GOES-R Series also continues the legacy Geostationary SAR (GEOSAR) function of the SARSAT system onboard NOAA's GOES satellites which has contributed to the rescue of thousands of individuals in distress. The GOES-R Series SARSAT transponder operates with a lower uplink power than the previous system, enabling GOES-R Series satellites to detect weaker beacon signals.
In May 2018, NOAA announced that the recently launched GOES-17 satellite was suffering from a severe malfunction in its instrument cooling system which resulted in degraded performance of its infrared sensors. The cause of the problem was determined to be with the loop heat pipe (LHP), which transports heat from the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) to a radiator for rejection into space. Since the LHP design was shared among all four GOES-R Series satellites, a redesign was required to prevent the anomaly from happening again on GOES-T and GOES-U. Lockheed Martin had already completed assembly of GOES-T and had to remove the ABI instrument in October 2018 and ship it to its manufacturer, Harris Corporation, to be rebuilt.[nb 1]
The satellite was originally planned to launch in May 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida, United States. Because of the repairs to correct the loop heat pipe problem, the deployment of GOES-T was delayed. As of February 2021, the launch date is scheduled for on 7 December 2021.
GOES-T is planned to have a mass of 2,800 kg.