Who GOES there? GOES-18 begins testing phase

On March 1, NASA launched a new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-18. This satellite will eventually cover the Western United States and Eastern Pacific Ocean and become fully operational in early 2023.

What You Need To Know

  • GOES is the acronym for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
  • The GOES-18 orbit is 22,236 miles above the equator
  • The GOES-18 orbital speed matches that of Earth’s rotation
  • GOES-18 can ‘see’ in 16 different wavelengths

While GOES-18 won’t be fully operational until early 2023, images are coming in. GOES-18 will replace GOES-17 that malfunctioned and eventually be GOES-West.

Since the satellite is in a geo-stationary orbit, it resides over the same location on Earth. This allows time-lapses of weather systems across the country. 

The satellite can also ‘see’ in 16 different channels, from long-wave infrared through the visible spectrum of light to shortwave ultraviolet light. 


This allows the satellite to show scientists data that the human eye alone can’t see and will aid in weather prediction.

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